KASEY KAHNE, No. 4 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Starting Position: 2nd

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Do you feel like the Red Bull Camrys are improving each week? “We’ve actually been pretty good on and off here for awhile. Our cars are pretty good and the team does a nice job. Kenny Francis (crew chief) does a great job. We’ve been fast ever session so far -- we haven’t been fastest, but we’ve been second in three of them and top-10 in the rest. We’re right there. I felt like I didn’t come to the green quite as fast as I should have, but the rest of the lap was really good. It was just really close. The 6 (David Ragan) put down a great lap. Kurt (Busch) was there and Jimmie Johnson so it’s pretty competitive and it’s really close.”

Kasey Kahne, Red Bull Racing Team Toyota
Kasey Kahne, Red Bull Racing Team Toyota

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

Did you slip coming off of turn four on your qualifying lap? “I slipped, but I never had to come off the gas. I just drifted up through it. I don’t think it slowed me down much. If it slowed me down anything, it wasn’t enough to get the pole and it was that close.”

How important is it to start up front at Indianapolis? “Top-two or three rows starting here is really good the way things are right now. One thing that’s going to be a little bit different is that the tires are going to fall off a lot tomorrow, which will be good I think for the race. I think there will be a little bit more passing because of that. Some cars get slower than others as the race runs go. I think we’ll be in a good spot. Our cars didn’t fall off too bad today.”

How was your qualifying lap? “The lap was really good. We picked up a little over a tenth from final practice and I thought that lap was really good -- we ended up second there. The car’s been really fast and everyone’s done an awesome job. We had our rearend housing problem there in practice today and luckily we got that switched and everything worked just like it did before. Everything is going good there. We just had a great lap. David’s (Ragan) lap must have been a good lap too because mine felt really good. I felt like I maybe could have came to the green a little bit quicker or entered turn one a little faster if I could have carried more speed down the frontstretch then it might have been enough to get the pole, but it would have been close either way and he probably has something that he could have done better if he could make the lap again too. I think it was a great lap for us and a really great spot for tomorrow. Starting up front here is a really big part of running well. Just being in clean air throughout the race and trying to keep that track position. Looking forward to the race.”

How have you seen David Ragan progress from last year? “I worked with him a little bit last year and I haven’t seen him as much this year, but to me he really acts the same and walks the same. He’s obviously faster. He’s doing a good job on the track for sure. He must race and drive more confident for sure because he’s out there and he does a good job. The Roush cars are really fast and he’s one of the guys that does a good job in the car. Other than that, I think he’s about the same. I’ve seen him a few times this year out at dinner and at a concert and stuff and he’s just a nice guy. He’s always been a nice guy.”

What were the advantages you saw in the qualifying session? “You wanted a cloud and I might have got a little bit of a cloud, but not as much as some. David (Ragan) didn’t get anymore than I did so he just had a good lap and he went out at a good time. I think I went out at a good time and that came from yesterday’s practice. I think just doing the right things after practice this morning -- we freed our car up a little bit more even though it was already on the free side. I think that helped. I think I was just able to keep my speed up a little bit more than the other guys that were fast and lost a little bit of speed. I think Kenny Francis (crew chief) just made the right call there and we did the right adjustments and other than that we just had a good car.”

What do you have to do to win tomorrow? “We just have to be there at the end. I have to be in that front row or two on that final green flag run, I think. It seems like that’s how this race is won is just being up front at the end. You’re not just going to pass five or six cars when you get into turn one. You have to be one of those top couple of cars more times than not. We worked really hard all weekend to try to have that car that’s fast the first lap, but also doesn’t fall off. There’s a few cars that don’t fall off as much as us, but we’re a half a second faster the first five laps than they are. I feel like we’re in a really good spot and the car’s balanced really well and it’s not moving around a lot. I’ve had cars that have moved around a lot here before and been fast, but just move around a lot more. Hopefully, this will just be a better balance when you’re around other cars because air is so sensitive at this race track.”

How do you look at Indianapolis? “I always come here happy and excited and wanting to get on the race track. Living here for three years and racing openwheel type cars -- sprint cars and midgets around the area for a long time, I think to me -- we don’t race in Seattle. This is as close to kind of home as I’ll get at times other than Charlotte. I’m always pretty happy at that track too. It’s just nice. I enjoy it around here and know a lot of people and there are a lot of great fans around this area. I always look forward to racing here. It’s an unbelievable facility and race track is really technical. There’s always little things you can do with your feet or hands to improve your lap or hurt your lap. It’s a neat track to drive and really neat track to drive.”

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CASEY MEARS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Starting Position: 11th

How is your race car? “It was a good job. Bootie (Barker, crew chief) and all the guys really put a lot of hard work into this car -- really a lot of detail work that we haven’t been able to do throughout the first part of the season. And, it’s showing. The car’s got some speed. It’s a lot of fun to drive. We clearly are growing and getting better. We know we got more to grow. Right now, it’s a good day for us no matter where that ends up because we know we are improving and getting faster.”

How special is Indianapolis Motor Speedway? “It’s awesome. This place is unbelievable. The older I get the more I appreciate it. When I first came here -- you’re a little bit in awe just because you know of everything that has gone on here. The older you get, the more you understand it and I think the more you really appreciate the place. It’s the same way with Daytona and a lot of the great race tracks. As I get older, I seem to appreciate it more. I’m not old yet though -- I still have a long way to go.”

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DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 14th

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BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Huggies Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Starting Position: 17th

How much has your race car improved? “We had a good practice today. Our car yesterday in qualifying trim wasn’t very good at all -- it was very scary. So, today we got a lot better and I think we run a .60 or .70. So, we picked up a couple tenths here. I know the top guys are going to do the same thing, but I feel really confident that we did the right things today and feel pretty good about our car for tomorrow. We’re pretty decent in race trim. About a tenth off of where we need to be I think, maybe two (tenths) sometimes. A lot better than it has been -- looking forward to the race.”

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JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 20th

How is your car during qualifying? “We didn’t make a qualifying run in the first practice, so that’s why we went out early (in qualifying). We’ll see what happens here. There are a lot of good cars left to go, obviously. The guys have done a great job with this thing. They had to work really hard this weekend to get it close. And, we’re a lot closer than we were. I feel like that was a good lap. It was decent. Hopefully, that puts us somewhere near the front. The starting position here is pretty important. We’ll kind of see what happens.”

Have you improved the car from the first practice session? “The car picked up a lot of speed. The guys did a good job. It’s probably faster than what we’ve been here in practice so far. The guys, like I said, did a great job making this car better from when we unloaded. It’s been a struggle this week. They are working really hard. It’s definitely been a cool place -- coming to the Brickyard. You always want to have a good run here. We’re putting enough effort in this weekend. Hopefully, we’ll get a good enough car.”

How difficult is this race track? “I haven’t found an easy race track yet. It just doesn’t happen -- especially with these guys. There’s always a new challenge every week. This place has its own sets of challenges. It’s got four real turns. You got to lift and go again. So, it’s definitely trying to get all those corners tied together is always a challenge. Trying to find speed through (turns) one and three and (turns) two and four -- it’s kind of two different corners there. Then, obviously in the race it’s really hard to pass here. I’ve experienced that the last couple of years. I’ve had to start in the back. Hopefully, this time we can start a little closer to the front and we can pick them off. I’ve had really good race cars here in the past. I’ve been able to pass cars and it’s taken me all day to get up into the top-10. If we can start closer to the front and keep working ahead we’ll get there.”

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DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 28th

How was your car during qualifying? “It’s okay. We didn’t run a very good lap. It seems to be okay in race trim, but we are going to be starting back a ways so we’ll have to be better than okay in race trim to make any ground. I don’t know. We’ll just see. We didn’t post a very good lap and we’re going to struggle I’m afraid.”

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KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 29th

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MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Platinum Filter Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 30th

How was your car during qualifying? “I was happy with it because we struggled in practice and they changed everything on it. We kind of went back to more what we had yesterday. Yesterday, I thought we were pretty competitive. You go home at night and you work to try and get better and sometimes it just doesn’t pan out. We got behind today and never really caught up. It was a good lap. It was a good pickup. It was a faster than we ran. So, I was happy with it.”

Are you happy with your car for the race? “It’s a lot better than we were going to be, so I’m happy. It’s not as good as I want to be. I felt good about our race stuff yesterday. On long runs the car was consistent. And, I tend to race a lot better than I qualify. I’m optimistic.”

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BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Starting Position: 31st

Has your car been strong here? “Yeah, it has been. It wasn’t as good as we wanted. I think the track is heating up. We just probably over- adjusted to it. We were good -- maybe a little loose at the end of practice when it was shaded. We made a change -- with the sun out -- I think it was just too tight. It’s a fun track. I really like it a lot. It’s very sensitive to temperature -- very sensitive.”

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MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 66 HP Racing LLC Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports Starting Position: 35th

JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 AMFMEnergy.com Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Starting Position: 36th

MIKE SKINNER, No. 60 Big Red Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Starting Position: 38th

By: toyota motorsports