Kahne - Dodge Friday interview

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) NOTE: In the past five races since Michigan on Aug. 20, Kahne has scored more points than any driver except Matt Kenseth. Kenseth has 807 points during that five-race stretch, while Kahne has...

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)

NOTE: In the past five races since Michigan on Aug. 20, Kahne has scored more points than any driver except Matt Kenseth. Kenseth has 807 points during that five-race stretch, while Kahne has 762. Kevin Harvick is third with 753.

ARE THE 48 AND 5 IN TROUBLE YET? "I don't know. I'd say probably not, but you can't have any more bad races. We had a real good car at New Hampshire and ended up 16th, so that wasn't a great race or a bad race for us. We've got to run in the top 10 in the rest of the races."

HOW MANY MULLIGANS CAN YOU HAVE IN THE CHASE? "It depends on how you do after your mulligan. If you win seven races and have three mulligans you'll still come pretty close to winning the championship. Otherwise you're going to have to be consistent, and I don't think anyone is going to win seven races. I'd say one (mulligan), maybe two, but probably just one."

DO YOU THINK TEAMS PLAY MIND GAMES? "I'm not real sure. I know at Evernham Motorsports we all work together really well and don't have to worry about mind games or anything. We'll just find out how they run the rest of the year and see what happens."

COMMENT ON DOVER "I always like racing here. It's a good track for The Chase. It's a fun track to drive. It's fast. It's not a big track. It's enjoyable. I think we should have a good race this weekend."

IS IT HARD TO MAKE UP GROUND AT DOVER? "You just never know. Sometimes things will happen to three or four guys and sometimes things won't happen to anybody. You don't know how it's going to play out. It's a track where you can get caught up in other people's wrecks. You slide down the hill and it's easy to grab cars. I hope to stay up front and not have too many problems. It's a fun track to race on for sure. Qualifying is huge. Track position is really big late in the race, but qualifying is big because there's only two good pit stalls in the whole place. You can get trapped in easily and lose spots in the pits. That was our big deal last week. Martin trapped me in on the final stop, so we were screwed at that point. We lost five spots and had two tires. Most cars got four tires. We got screwed up there. This is a track where we need to qualify first or second and you'll be better off the rest of the weekend."

DO YOU LOOK AT YOUR AVERAGE FINISHES HERE OR LOOK MORE AT YOUR PERFORMANCE IN JUNE? "You look more at June or you look more at the way your race team has been the last month. The way they're figuring out certain setups for this time of the year. It's kind of like the track changes all year long with the weather and it matters how well you're running at that time of the year."

WHAT'S YOUR MINDSET COMING INTO THIS WEEKEND? "We need to get some points back. I think we can win. I think we can run up front. I think we can be one of the cars to beat all weekend long. You don't know until the race comes, but I think we definitely have the cars and team to do it. I'm racing my favorite car. We haven't raced it since the All-Star race, and I'm looking forward to it. I think it's one of the best cars they've built all year long. We just only got to race it once. We had the All-Star race won if I had not crashed there racing with Mark. I was 10 times faster than Mark Martin that day. I just let him get too close to me and ended up crashing and taking him out, too. That's just part of it, but I had a good car. It was pretty beat up and it just got repaired."

HOW DO YOU FEEL AFTER FIRST CHASE RACE? "I felt good. To make it in and be happy and excited for everybody, I felt great. I think it's the perfect time of the season. I feel the best I've ever felt. Being my third year, this is the best I've ever felt going into the last nine races for sure."

WHAT DO YOU WORK ON NOW? "I think just being consistent and focusing hard through all these races and not making mistakes whether it's on the track, pit road, following the wrong car when you're in traffic and losing two or three spots -- just doing everything right. This is a tough place. It can get you really quick. We'll stay focused and try not to make mistakes. We need to get all the points possible and not lose anymore."

COMMENT ON MAKING YOUR 100TH CUP START ON SUNDAY "I just found out about that yesterday. I didn't know anything about that. It would be nice to win your 100th race, I know that. To have 100 is pretty cool, but plenty of guys have a lot more than that."

ARE YOU GOING FOR 1000? "I don't know about that. That's a lot."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Kevin Harvick , Mark Martin