KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) "I'm really excited to get on the track later this afternoon. Obviously, it's the biggest race I've ever been in, so I'm really excited. I lived in Indy for three summers. I've been to three or four...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"I'm really excited to get on the track later this afternoon. Obviously, it's the biggest race I've ever been in, so I'm really excited. I lived in Indy for three summers. I've been to three or four 500s and three or four Brickyard 400s. I've been around here a lot, but it's nice to get on the track and actually be part of the race.
"We tested and we learned some things testing. We brought back a better car and better engine to hopefully go faster. I've watched a lot of racing here, watched a lot of tapes the last couple of weeks. I've tried to watch Bill Elliott a lot. He'll probably be one of the favorites this weekend. They tested well, too.
"You have to get off corner two and corner four or you're going to get passed down the straightaway. If you can get off the corner better than the guy in front of you and maybe you can beat them into the next corner. It seems like this track is getting better and better with the outside groove. It seems like last year there was some passing on the outside in some of the turns.
"We started the season and it was great. Since then we've had a lot of up and downs. It hasn't been quite as good as it started out, but I think we're on a pretty good roll right now. We've got two top 10s in a row, and we were good a few weeks before that, too. We've had a pretty good rookie season, but we definitely need to improve and keep getting better to win that Raybestos Rookie of the Year.
"Chicago and Dover were two races that took a lot of points away from us, and we didn't need to crash in either one of those. We dropped back to 14th, and we're on the climb again. I think we're only (69) points out of 10th and (153) out of sixth. If we keep running good and staying out of trouble, we're going to get that Dodge Dealers car in the top 10.
"Any time we come out with a top 10 I'm pretty happy about it. Obviously we want to win races. We want to run in the top five, but to run in the top 10 in Nextel Cup consistently would be pretty awesome. Right now we've got two in a row, and we'll just keep building on that and try to get more. I don't get down at all when we get in the top 10. The point system, I like it. For a rookie, I think it works out pretty good. I think it's going to make for an exciting end to the year. It's going to bring more fans into it maybe. It's going to bring more excitement in to it. It's just something to try. If it works, it'll be great and we'll do it again next year. If it doesn't, we'll try something different. For this year, I think it's a great idea. We'll do everything we can to get in that top 10 and go from there."