Chicagoland: Kahne - Thursday media visit

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) TALK ABOUT COMING HERE AND RACING AT CHICAGOLAND? "I enjoy Chicagoland. I enjoy being here. Coming off Daytona, we had another good run. I felt that we were one of the stronger cars throughout the...

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)

TALK ABOUT COMING HERE AND RACING AT CHICAGOLAND? "I enjoy Chicagoland. I enjoy being here. Coming off Daytona, we had another good run. I felt that we were one of the stronger cars throughout the entire night. I think that we can run really well here this weekend. The night race is going to be a lot of fun. It should be a lot different from what it's been in the past. We haven't run that well here in a Cup car. I think that (Chicagoland) is just one of those tracks that we haven't for some reason. It's also one of those tracks that I've enjoyed racing at and coming to. When you haven't run well somewhere, you hope at some point it's going to change because it's a track that you like. I think this weekend can be one of those weekends where we qualify well and have a good race Saturday night."

HOW DIFFICULT HAS THIS BEEN FOR YOU AND KENNY FRANCIS (TEAM DIRECTOR) TO GET YOUR HANDS AROUND THIS CAR? "It's tough. We've come along way from where we were last year. And even the start of this year we ran well, but not as good as we are right now. At New Hampshire, we had an awesome car early in the race and kind of lost it as the race went on with adjustments. It seems like a very easy car to lose grip with -- make the wrong adjustment. But we've also come a long ways on things in the past two or three months to get our car better to where the adjustments aren't so fine to make. Hopefully it just keeps getting better and better."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR TEAM IS PROGRESSING? "I know that we are progressing as a team, as a company. All the cars are better and the things that we are doing to the race cars are much different from what we did four months ago. So I think, as a company, we are definitely progressing. I've really learned a lot about the COT car and how to make it turn and still be on the race track. That was our biggest problem. I feel like were really close to being more competitive than we already are."

AS A YOUNG RACER, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT RICHARD PETTY HAS MEANT TO YOU? "I grew up watching NASCAR racing. I knew Richard Petty as a driver on TV. I knew how good he was and what he had done in the sport. My parent's first Daytona 500 that they went to was not one of his better days. It was the one where he flipped down the fence and it was right in front of my Mom. She would tell me that story for a long time on how crazy it was. So things like that, I know what an awesome racecar driver he was."

DO YOU SEE YOURSELF BEING IN RACING 50 YEARS? "No. I think I'm only on five (years), so I don't see myself doing it for 50 years."


the pressure yet. I remember in 2006 we were fighting for that 10th spot at the time and there was a ton of pressure the last three races. Right now I don't feel it. I feel like we're one of the top six or seven cars in the top-12. I really feel that way about our team and our cars right now. I think were sitting in eighth -- it's really close back to 13th -- but at the same time, I think that we're one of the better cars. We can definitely have ourselves in a good position when the Chase starts."

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON TONY STEWART'S NEW OWNERSHIP ROLE? "It's pretty big day for him. I think that we all knew that it was coming. It's a big day for him. To have part ownership and do some things that he wanted to do is why he wanted the change. He leaving a great team and great company, so there must be a lot there for Tony that he sees because he's not going to settle running 15th or 25th. So he must see a lot of good things there to run well and he's going to have some ownership and a say in some of the things that they do there. I respect his decision and think that it could be really good for him. I think that he's probably really excited about it."

DO YOU FEEL YOUR TEAM IS STILL ON THE UPSWING? "We had those races that we won. We haven't maintained that winning. Even at Sonoma and New Hampshire where we run 31st and 33rd, we qualified well at Sonoma but had an issue in the race. At New Hampshire, I didn't qualify that well, but drove all the way up to second passing cars. The cars have been there, we're still very close. We're just as good as we were at the (Coca-Cola) 600 and Pocono. I'm really looking forward to this next eight-race stretch. Those tracks should all be good for us. I feel like were still learning, still getting better. We've got some great racecars. This weekend, I'm in the Pocono car and for Indy, we have a brand new car that is being built that looks awesome. I'm excited. It's a great time of the season, a great time of the year for us to show that we deserve to be in that top-12 in points and hopefully win a couple more times before the Chase rolls around."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Richard Petty