KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) HOW WAS THE CAR TODAY? Our Budweiser Dodge was pretty decent this morning. We had times (during practice) where I felt that it was pretty good. Center off the corner was pretty good. We're still ...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
HOW WAS THE CAR TODAY? Our Budweiser Dodge was pretty decent this morning. We had times (during practice) where I felt that it was pretty good. Center off the corner was pretty good. We're still fighting the entry into the corner, but we have plenty of time to work on that and hopefully get it better tomorrow. We'll just keep working on it. I felt pretty good. It felt pretty balanced. We have a decent car that we can work with and get better for Sunday."
HOW MUCH IS RAY EVERNHAM INVOLVED ON A DAILY BASIS?
"You've got to look at what Mark McArdle's done. He has put a structure together at Gillett Evernham Motorsports to get better. As far as Ray, I've seen him around. I've talked to him a lot. He's been really excited and talked highly of what everybody is doing. He's still doing his own thing. He's got things he's doing during the week. He's at the shop a couple days of week and he does his own thing a couple days a week. As far as the cars running better, that's the guys back in the shop - that's the engineers, Mark McArdle, Kenny Francis, that's who's doing it."
MARK MCARDLE SAID IT WAS RAY'S VISION FOR THE IDEAS OF THIS NEW CAR AND HE WAS JUST THE GUY IMPLEMENTING IT. HAVE YOU HAD ANY DISCUSSION ON THAT?
"I don't build them (race cars), so I don't know everything that goes along with it, I just drive them. You'd have to ask those guys exactly what's going on there. I know Ray's a big part of Gillett Evernham, but he's also doing his own things just like he said he was going to do at the start of the year. He wasn't at the race last week. He's not going to be here this week and that's great. He's doing his own deal. Ray's a very smart racer. I think what Mark would have been talking about is how the chassis are built. As far as the setup, that's the engineers and Kenny Francis."
WHAT HAS BEEN THE REASON FOR THE RECENT SUCCESS?
"If you look back at the start of the season, we've been much better than where we were last year, throughout the entire season. We were better in the off season. We had a car that was capable of winning at California. Vegas, we ran eighth. We've been close at times; then we've had things go on at other times. We've hit on some things at the Charlotte test that have really paid off and helped us on these race tracks. We're still learning more about these cars. For what we have, the amount of time we've had to work with a completely different race car from what we raced a year ago, I think the cars are handling and racing really well. It just takes a little bit of time and we're slowing getting there. It's something we knew going into the season, that we would be getting better as the season goes on."
HOW MUCH DIFFERENCE IS THIS NEW CAR TO DRIVE AT MIS?
"These cars are definitely different, the set ups, the way you drive them. Everything is different and the more you drive them, the more I like them, the more our team likes them. When you come to a track like this where it's wide and there's lots of room to race, as long as the tires are good, there's a lot of things that go into making sure the racing is good and it's not always the racecar.
"Last week, you can look back at Pocono and could pass at any time. That's just the way it was last week.
We could pass any car on the racetrack because my car was so good and because we hit on some things. It just takes time to get those kinds of racecars. To me, the racing at Michigan can be a real good race. It also can be a race where cars run away and get strung out there's not a lot of passing going on. As far as the width of the racetrack and racing groove, there's plenty of room. If you have a good car, you'll be able to pass and it will be a fun race; as fun a race as we've ever had here."
DO YOU EXPECT ROUSH RACING TO DOMINATE HERE THIS WEEKEND?
"I just feel like those guys (Roush) will be really strong. I think those Roush cars are always strong at these types of racetracks. Our Dodge's have been good in the past. I've run second here and we've won here. So we've had good cars and I had to beat Carl (Edwards) when we won. The Roush cars, Hendrick cars, it will be the same usual suspects. Look back at Pocono and see what cars were up front there, they'll probably be up front here."
IS THERE ANY DANGER WITH THE FRONT SPLITTER DRAGGING ON PARTS OF THE FRONTSTRETCH?
"No danger. It's actually pretty fun. The more you get use to the splitter and riding it on the race track and off the track and where it needs to be to go fast, I really like the splitter. I really like not as much travel like we have right now. You're going to bottom going through that bump (on the frontstretch). The old car bottomed hard, this car bottoms hard. If you don't want to bottom out, stay above it. The corners are the difficult part. Turn 3 is the hardest part of this whole racetrack and that's how it's always been to me. That's where we struggled today. I was really fast in (Turns) 1 and 2, good in Turn 4 and Turn 3 is where I struggled. If you can figure out how to be fast in Turn 3, you'll have a shot at winning the race."
-credit: dodge motorsports