KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- Wins third pole in four attempts at Darlngton; third pole of season. "It means a lot to win the pole for a big Dodge race. The team did a great job making the car a little better than it was...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- Wins third pole in four attempts at Darlngton; third pole of season.
"It means a lot to win the pole for a big Dodge race. The team did a great job making the car a little better than it was in practice. The engines run great, and I'm just happy to get a Bud Pole again. It's fun to qualify at Darlington, especially when you end up up front. We have another hour of practice tonight, so hopefully we can keep working on our Dodge Charger and see what we can do. This is one of the toughest tracks we go to and one of the most fun tracks we go to. Five hundred miles is a long way here. It's going to take a big effort by everybody to win, so hopefully we can do it. My cars have always been great here. The tires always wear out and you have to slide the car a little bit. You have to try to keep improving each lap, even though your tires are giving up.
"That was a great lap. Kenny Francis and the team did a great job to help the car. I felt like I could have been a little faster coming to the green and a little faster coming to the checkered off turn four. I just love qualifying here. I've had some great Dodge Chargers to qualify here, so it's great we got another pole. Both of our wins have been from the pole this season, so maybe we can make it three for three.
"We had a great lap. It's always fun to qualify here and see how fast you can go right up by the wall and just get all you can out of your Dodge Charger. I felt like we were able to do that today. It's our third one (this season and at Darlington), so I'm pretty excited.
"Those two races we won we had to work real hard throughout the race, fall back and get back to the front. I know Darlington is going to be as tough as any track. Whether you start in the front or back it doesn't matter. It's a tough track and it can get you at any time. We're just going to try to do everything right. We had the right starting spot and the right pit stall. We've done everything right on Friday. We just have to get our car better in the final hour of practice today and hopefully we'll have a shot tomorrow night and be able to win a big race for Dodge.
"Our cars have qualified well here every year since I've been in Cup. It's nice to be able to drive 'em when they handle like that. I know if you're a rookie and you're younger, this is a track you like to come to. You like to be as aggressive as you can. As long as you don't hit the wall you can usually go pretty fast.
"I think it's a really long race. A lot of things go on during the race. Your car can be off and there's so many pit stops because of the tires here falling off so quickly. You can help your car or hurt your car. You have to make the right decisions and keep yourself in the right place and not get frustrated. At some point in the race, every race so far, I think we've finished third, fifth and 13th, and I've been frustrated at some point. You have to keep your head. Things change quick, especially at this track.
"Something I found this year with Kenny Francis, if we can find a good balance, whether it's for qualifying or the race, usually we find it in race practice. Like this morning, we did the first three-quarters of practice in race trim and found out what we were looking for and then just put it in qualifying trim and basically had the same balance. We just put the tape on and stiffer springs to hold it up. Basically we've been doing that all year by using the qualifying setup or race setup.
"My biggest difference is my team. It's been a great team to work with this year. We started in the off season testing. I felt like we had made gains. The Charger was tough to figure out last year. The guys at the shop building the bodies have figured things out and that's really benefited us at the racetrack. I think the off season testing and changing setups around and changing some things, finding the right balance. Last year didn't work. We kept trying the same stuff and it didn't work. We had to try some new things."