KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- Pole Sitter's Press Conference Quotes "It was a good lap. We took off out of the pits and got real loose. That killed my first lap. I didn't drive it where it needed to be. The second lap really...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- Pole Sitter's Press Conference Quotes
"It was a good lap. We took off out of the pits and got real loose. That killed my first lap. I didn't drive it where it needed to be. The second lap really felt good. It felt a little bit better than practice. It's a great deal to sit on the pole here at Las Vegas as a rookie. Our sponsor, UAW, is sponsoring the race, so it's great to sit on the pole.
"We took some pictures with some of them. It's cool, all the Dodge Dealers and everyone that supports Ray Evernham's race teams are happy. All Ray's cars are up front, and we're looking forward to a great weekend.
"I wish I would have broken the track record and end up first on the Busch side, too. I actually left a lot on the table. I didn't run as good of a first lap as I should have, but that's my fault. Still qualifying third at Las Vegas... I enjoyed this track when we raced here last year (in Busch Series). It's similar to a few other tracks we go to. It's a good racetrack, and there's a lot of racing room. You can carry a lot of speed around here. It's definitely a fun track. When we came out here and tested, it helped us learn more about the track.
"It's a real big start. So far we've done some things I wasn't expecting to do. I don't think anybody was. We definitely have good people and have a good race team right now. Tommy Baldwin is doing a great job as a crew chief. It's nice to have somebody like Tommy and all the guys that worked with Bill last year and all the guys Tommy brought to this deal to work with every day. It's a pleasure to work with those guys.
"Everything that Dodge has done to help these race teams over the winter has paid off. I think Dodge is the best car to have right now. Obviously Ray Evernham has done a lot with his teams. To have three Evernham Dodges in the top 10 is pretty impressive. To have six Dodges in the top 10, definitely everybody has worked really hard to get the cars balanced.
"I thought my first year in Busch that this was one of the tougher we went to. I felt it was one of my worse tracks. I think I've picked up some as a driver. The tires are a lot different this year, too. The cars slide around a lot more. It's pretty cool when they slide around as long as they don't come out from under you.
"I think that's another reason all the Evernham Dodges are up front. All three of us tested out here and we all three had really good tests. We compared notes. That's one thing Ray is doing at Evernham Motorsports, making all the teams as one. We all have learned a lot
from each other. None of us practiced qualifying while we were out here, so we're really looking forward to the race Sunday.
"Getting into the 9 car, obviously Bill Elliott had the best car or one of the best cars in the last 10 races, so getting in that car was definitely a big step. I wouldn't expect to run second in my second race. I wouldn't expect to sit on the pole at Las Vegas, but I think it has a lot to do with the team. We've just got to keep it up. I don't really know where I should be or shouldn't be, but I think we're going to stay focused and stay in the direction we're going.
"Actually I thought about the Bud Shootout a few minutes ago. I get to be in that. Bill raced it this year, so next year I'll get to be in it. I won't have to be up spotting with Ray.
"It's always nice to lead the first lap. We'll definitely try to lead the first lap. I'm not going to try to do anything stupid and crash or something like that. We'll take that race like we took Rockingham. We paced ourselvest all day long and didn't want to make any mistakes. We've got to go about it the same way and not make any mistakes. It's a long race. With Tommy Baldwin helping me throughout the race, it keeps me calm."