KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) WHAT'S THIS WEEK BEEN LIKE FOR YOU? "We got a little bit behind (at New Hampshire), but it's actually been a good week. I had some fun and hung out with some friends. My sprint car teams were in town...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
WHAT'S THIS WEEK BEEN LIKE FOR YOU? "We got a little bit behind (at New Hampshire), but it's actually been a good week. I had some fun and hung out with some friends. My sprint car teams were in town and I just spend a lot of time with those guys."
DO YOU FEEL THAT IT'S TOO LATE FOR A SHOT AT WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "We're definitely in a hole, that's part of it. Hopefully everybody has a bad race and if not, if some of them do and we gain some points back and just do the best job that we can. At this point, all's that we can do is try hard; keep working hard on our cars and engines. I'll keep working on my driving. I think that we'll be alright. We'll gain some spots back."
WITH EVERYTHING THAT HAS GONE ON AT RPM THIS YEAR, HAS THIS SEASON BEEN FRUSTRATING OF SATISFYING? "I'm happy that we made the Chase. That was a big goal of ours at the start of the season and we fought through a lot of things and made the Chase. Our whole Bud team has done a great job. Once you make the Chase, all's you want to do is win the championship and win more races and finish as high in the points as we can. We're just going to work hard to do that. We had a rough race at New Hampshire, but I think that we can fight back and get a lot of those points back."
WITH YOUR HISTORY OF PERFORMING WELL WITH YOUR BACK AGAINST THE WALL, ARE YOU CONFIDENT IN YOUR ABILITY TO COME BACK AND BE COMPETITIVE THE NEXT NINE WEEKS? "I think our team has been in some tough spots a few times to make the Chase and having to step up and win races in order to do that. Hopefully we can step up and get some of the points back. It's tough to say what some of the guys are going to do in the Chase...the top 11, top 12 guys...we're going to do the best job that we can and Dover is a great race track for us."
HAS ANY OF THE ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES AT RPM TAKEN AWAYS FROM ANY OF THE SATISIFACTION YOU'VE HAD THIS YEAR? "It's tough to say. I don't know what it would have been like if things weren't stirred up once in a while. I'm definitely happy winning at Atlanta and making the Chase. Coming into New Hampshire, we felt like we had a great race team and a top-10 car. We were running right. We had a great shot of running up front. I don't know if it would have been any different or not. We still have taken advantage of it and have had some fun as a team."
DO YOU HAVE ANY ANSWERS TO THE ENGINE FAILURE LAST WEEK? "I don't have any answers to anything anymore. I just race hard and do the best job that we can to win and try to get some of these points back and get the best result possible."
IS BLOCKING OUT ALL THE ORGANZIATIONAL ISSUES REALLY THE ONLY THING THAT YOU CAN DO? "I can't do anything with it. The guys that can are working hard at it and working to make our company better. We'll let them do their job and I'll plan on driving my car on Sunday and hopefully I can do a good enough job at that to win at some point."
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE THE NAME RICHARD PETTY IN THE CHASE? "To have Richard (Petty) in the Chase, winning races as a car owner, I'm happy to have had the opportunity to do that. It's good. I'm happy with what's going on this year with Richard and all that."
DO YOU PICK RICHARD'S BRAIN AT ALL? "There's been times throughout the year that we've talked a lot about things, but right now we're just doing what we've done as a team and we'll keep trying to do that and get the best results that we can. It's been great to see Richard in victory lane. This team works hard and I'm happy to be a part of it."
AS A YOUNG RACER, WHAT DID RICHARD PETTY MEAN TO YOU? "Truthfully, when I was young watching NASCAR, Richard really wasn't winning races anymore. Since making it in the Cup Series, I've looked back at results and old videos and stuff and seen some of the things Richard's done. It's awesome. When I was a kid growing up, I was looking at other guys."
HOW MUCH SATISIFACTION HAS IT GIVEN YOU TO GET RICHARD BACK ON TOP? "I think it would be great. At the start of this year, our team's goal was to get Richard back in victory lane. Then we went to making sure that Richard was in the Chase as a team owner. To get him back on top would be the ultimate for us as a group."
HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO PUT LAST WEEKEND BEHIND YOU? "I forgot about it pretty quickly. My sprint car teams got back in town and we were doing some of that stuff. I had some friends around and we went out and had a good time. I just tried to put it out of my mind."
WAS THAT YOUR FIRST ENGINE ISSUE ALL YEAR? "No."
HOW MANY HAVE YOU HAD? "That was the second engine that we've lost."
WAS IT THE OLD ENGINE (R5)? "They've both been the new engine. They were both different things, they weren't the same."
DID YOU GUYS FIGURE IT OUT? "Yeah, the engine shop has. They've worked hard all year to make sure that they give us great stuff, so I just assume that they've figured it out. We should be sitting good this weekend."
DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH ENGINES FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR? "Yeah, I think we do. We've had a lot (of engines) ready to go between the R5 and R6; I think that we have plenty for all four teams."
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE ENGINE CONSPIRACY THEORY REGARDING YOUR ENGINE FAILURE LAST WEEK? "I think that's pretty far-fetched. I think the group of guys that we have building these engines always worked really hard to make sure the 9 car, 19, whoever it may be, has the best engine they can. So to have a failure like that was just a normal racing deal. Things happen and it was disappointing, but it never once crossed my mind about that other stuff."
WILL YOU BE USING THE R6 AT ANY MORE RACES? "Yeah, I think we'll go back and forth (between the R5 and R6) with whatever one they feel most confident with the reliability of parts and pieces inside of it...how many laps each one of them have. They're going to keep us with the most reliable engines that they can."
DO YOU FEEL BAD FOR THE GUY THAT MAKES THE CHASE, HAS A BAD RACE, AND THEN IT'S ALL GONE....KIND OF LIKE KYLE BUSCH LAST YEAR? "It seems like it keeps happening. It's part of NASCAR racing it seems like. It's been the same for years it seems like. I don't feel bad for them though. That's racing."
HOW DO YOU BALANCE GETTING ON TO PIT ROAD WITH SPEEDING? "I just try to understand where all the lines are and try to understand how far I can get. We have good brakes."
ARE YOU ON-AND-OFF THE GAS? "I just try and drive down there in one speed. I just don't cross the speed limit. It's actually pretty easy not to cross the speed limit. It's like if you're driving your car and if you look at your speedometer, you know where 55 mph is, you're starring right at it. It's a lot easier than it looks, but it can also be difficult when you have cars all around you. You get to looking at someone else and your right foot goes down a little bit and all of a sudden you're speeding. If you're in the wrong spot on the speeding line, then you're speeding. It's tough. You have to be really focused, really pay attention to it."
-credit: dodge motorsports