Charlotte II: Dodge teams race quotes

Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) Finished 2nd CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT LAST RUN? "We just had some clean air. We got up towards the front -- the car was pretty good. I was real loose into the corner, I tried catching him (Jeff ...

Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) Finished 2nd

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT LAST RUN? "We just had some clean air. We got up towards the front -- the car was pretty good. I was real loose into the corner, I tried catching him (Jeff Burton), but came up a little bit short. It was a fun run. This track is great. You can move all over and do a lot of things at this race track. It was a fun race. I wish we could have got him (J. Burton)."

YOU CAME CLOSE TO WINNING THE TRIFECTA HERE AT LOWE'S: "We kind of battled with the car all night. We kept battling and got our lap back. We got up to seventh and just took right sides (tires) there at the end and got some good track position and started to figure it out. My car was changing a ton throughout the runs. I'd start out tight or loose and then it would go opposite throughout the runs. It was a good run. I'm glad to finish where we did. We had a nice try to catch the 31 -- he was fast. We tried; we just didn't get to him. It was still a good run for our Budweiser Dodge and our first top-five in a while so that feels pretty good."

DID YOUR CAR HAVE THE NEW ENGINE IN IT ALSO? "No. We had the engine that we've had for a while. We're still working with that one (R5) and it ran great tonight. It was a good night for all Dodge engines it looked like."


Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) Finished 3rd

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT LAST GREEN FLAG RUN? "Man, we had a good run. I'm real surprised by it. We mixed the 77 set up with the 12. We tested so poorly here with the Miller Lite Dodge ...we couldn't run what the 2 car had. It feels real good to have team communication and bring all this together. This is the first time for the new engine, the R6 in the top five. We were pushing hard trying to get numbers on it (the new engine) for next year. It's just a big rebound from where we were in Kansas a few weeks ago. It feels really good for all of our sponsors, Mobil 1, Dodge and especially Miller Lite."

TALK ABOUT YOUR RACE TONIGHT: "It was great to see the front and sniff a little bit of the lead of the race with 25 (laps) to go. It's a good feeling to know that it (race win) was right there and we ended up with a solid finish. Racing in the top five we haven't done as of late. Give credit to Penske Racing and the overall group effort. We put the 77 (car) setup in. We put some 12 car geometry in the front (of the car). We adjusted on it like the 2 car knows how to do. The Penske Racing effort is showing signs of communication and strength in moving forward. Secondly, this was the second race for the R6P8 engine and I felt confident in it with the power that it gave me and the reliability that it showed me. Overall great group effort from Penske and I'm happy to finish third with the Miller Lite Dodge."

WHERE YOU HAVING BRAKE PROBLEMS? Yeah, felt like my pedal effort, it was getting too long. It was almost bouncing off the floorboard. To me that means the car isn't handling all that well. I had to slow it down too much on corner entry. At that point that's when the fronts seemed to be glazing over and the rears started to grab and get more aggressive. That makes you loose in. So I had to pump the pedal twice each straightaway, just hope the brakes stayed underneath it.

We made two adjustments at the end that allowed our car to free up a little bit, that way we didn't need as much brake to run the bottom side of the racetrack. But something with the COT, it's not all that efficient with brake cooling and radiator cooling. Things get plugged up in the front. There's quite a few things that are wrong with the front end of the car. Sometimes you have to just commit to running brake ducts, keeping the brake cool, even though you're only at a mile-and-a-half."

WHAT KIND OF FEEDBACK HAVE YOU GOTTEN FROM THE NEW ENGINE AFTER TWO RACES? "The two races have shown consistent signs of real low water temperature and high oil temperature. That's something that we're not used to. Normally they're within 20, 30 degrees. Both races they've had 50 degrees of split. So that allows us to run more tape on the car, to let the radiator temp get warmer, but then the oil temp seems to be shooting up with that. That just makes it more uncomfortable in the car. Ideally you want the water to be warmer and the oil is going to be shooting up towards 270. To me that's a bit warm. Then this time around we didn't have any water issues. We were squirting out water last time even though we were running cool. We've made progress in just two races with this engine and it shows some sign of durability. We need that all important more power."

WHAT KIND OF HORSEPOWER IS IT GIVING YOU? "They've showed me the dyno curves. It shows pluses in all rpm ranges: low, medium and high. Maybe it noses over at the very high end, 9600, 9700. With the new gear rule that NASCAR has given us, that isn't a very important rpm range any more. So I'm still looking for that low-end torque. I want this grunt coming off the corner when you're about the 8000 to 8500 range. So we're still pushing to get that, and hopefully we'll get some more R&D testing done on the new R6 engine so we can put it in our restrictor plate program as well."


BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios Racing/Pink Together Dodge Charger) Finished 17th

"We tangled up there and I spun out.  After that, it was really,
really loose.  We aren't sure if something got bent or the track
changed that much.  It's just a tough one."


ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Stanley, Susan G. Komen Dodge Charger) Finished 20th

"The car was real loose all night and we just couldn't fix it. We've had that problem with this car. I'm proud of my guys. They threw everything but the kitchen sink at it. We had great pit stops all night. It wasn't the finish we wanted, but we feel like we're getting our hands around some things. This is the best front end I've had all season. Even though we didn't run like we wanted on the racetrack, we think we learned some things that will help us for the last couple of race."


ROY MCCAULEY (Crew Chief -- No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) Finished 21st

"We were too loose all day. We struggled trying to get it tightened. The last set of tires we put on were scuffs and it still didn't tighten it up enough. It got real loose the last 60 laps. We'll see if we can get them at Martinsville."


SAM HORNISH (No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger) Finished 22nd

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR RACE TONIGHT? "It was not too bad. The Mobil 1 Dodge was pretty good most of the night. We started off way too tight and kind of ended up getting freed up by somebody else and got into the wall. I sped on pit lane and that killed us. If I hadn't done that, we would have probably been able to be on the lead lap and running in the top-15. It was a good night, though. All the guys on the team worked really hard. We came back and did what we needed to do after we were already in trouble. Now, we're learning how to do that better. Now we've got to figure out how to not get into trouble to start with. Hitting the exit of the Turn 4 wall about five times probably didn't help straighten anything out. The good thing about it was that we were able to keep going and make adjustments to the car and make it better. The backup car ran real well. We're just too loose to start on some of the runs and then we got a little bit too tight. We just need to work at evening that balance out so that we don't get ourselves in trouble too early."


ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 Menards Dodge Charger) Finished 30th

"I look up at the result board and look at ourselves 30th and want to cry to be honest with you. We were better than the 2 and 9. Where did they finish. I never raced the car all night long. Our game plan, sitting here 35th in points, is to be around for the end. We have been around, but we had a very good opportunity to make up points on a bunch of cars tonight. It's unfortunately. The positive is that our cars are fast. The Penske engine ran well. We know what is happening and how we miss results. We're fast enough for sure. Now, we have to stop making mistakes."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Kurt Busch , Kasey Kahne
Teams Team Penske