Darlington: Kahne - Dodge Friday interview

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger) COMMENT ON GOING FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT DARLINGTON POLE "I think qualifying is so much different than racing here just because you can make a quick lap. I've had the fastest laps of the race ...

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger)

COMMENT ON GOING FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT DARLINGTON POLE "I think qualifying is so much different than racing here just because you can make a quick lap. I've had the fastest laps of the race here before, too, and not come close to winning. One lap, new tires, there's a lot of grip and the cars feel like they're on the racetrack a lot more. The longer you run the tires will wear out and it's going to be an even bigger deal this time with the Car of Tomorrow (COT). We'll just have to take care of the tires, race the racetrack like always and hopefully not make any mistakes. That's the biggest thing here that can bite you, mistakes, and hurt the right side of the car or tow the front end or something like that. That can definitely take you out of winning the race, but qualifying is just all out and you have a lot more grip, so it's easier to go fast in qualifying. It's easier to run a 30 flat in qualifying than it is to run a 33.30 on lap 40 or 45 of a run."

COMMENT ON YOUR SUCCESS AT LMS "This whole month really, I was excited to go to Richmond, a track we've always been really fast at also. We didn't get out of there with a real good finish. Now we're looking forward to Darlington. We had a test at Charlotte this week and it went pretty good. I felt like we were one of the better cars. There were some cars better than us, but we definitely made gains since Texas and some of the other fast mile and a half tracks. That's a track last year we tested really poor at and ran really well at all of the races, so we really look forward to the next three weeks. Staying around home for a couple of weeks is always nice and just seeing what happens. I'd like to run well and get some good points."

ARE YOU AND DAVID STREMME HAVING A LITTLE FIGHT? "I don't know if that's a fight or an argument. I just did a commercial with him yesterday, and I just stayed out of it. We're trying to get some sponsors and some big deals going on right now, and I don't want to screw that up by getting in a fist fight or anything like that with David Stremme. I stayed away from it and didn't talk to him. More and likely we'll talk this weekend because the sponsors won't be around, but we'll just figure it out and see what happens. I have my opinion and he has his opinion and it's really not that big of a deal. I was probably critical on some of the things I said, and I shouldn't have, but that's the way I felt at the time. He was squirrelly. He was all over the place. I thought maybe he was having a problem."

WHAT DID THE DISPUTE STEM FROM AND YOU SHOT A COMMERCIAL ALL DAY YESTERDAY AND DIDN'T SPEAK? "Yeah, all four of us, me and all three of the Ganassi drivers, so it was a fun day for me. It's just racing. I've said it. I've always had a hard time racing with him. I don't know why. When I'm around his car we just have problems. I was trying to pass him for 10 laps and there were other cars passing me. I just got frustrated. He pointed me by down the backstretch and didn't give me any room on the frontstretch, which he didn't need to, but three laps before that I gave him plenty of room when he needed room. I just thought he could have given a little more give and take. I ended up wrecking because I fought that. That part of it was my fault, but just racing with David hasn't ever worked for me."

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE JUNIOR FOR A TEAMMATE? "I'd like it. Who wouldn't? It's going to be crazy. Dale is doing different things in '08. He's looking out for himself and obviously wants to win championships and do what's right for Dale Jr. I think it's pretty neat that he's going out and doing what he needs to do. It's a big deal. I thought it was pretty wild when I heard that yesterday. What happens to his future is something that I'm wondering. I know it's going to be some pretty big news for awhile to see what he does and where he goes, if it's his own team, whether he goes to another team. It's going to be pretty neat to see how it all works out. I'm pretty excited to see how it goes."

COULD THIS BE A WRECKING YARD FOR THE COT? "It's tough. Every time you think everybody is going to wreck they don't, and when you think they're not, they do. It's kinda tough to say, but in the past this track has been so slippery on old tires and the COT is (more) slippery than the older car. I think there's going to be a huge difference from some of these faster cars to the slower cars and even the leader, when he gets in lapped traffic, just to pass somebody and go straight down the straightaway and clear them before they reach the corners is going to be difficult. You're not going to have forward grip off turn two down the whole backstretch or the frontstretch. You're going to have a hard time not spinning your tires. It's going to be wild. I think it's going to be a difficult race, and I think the guys that finish, there's not going to be a whole lot of them that don't have damage, and I don't think there will be a whole lot on the lead lap. It's tough to say how it works out. If I can finish on the lead lap I feel I'll have the best race of the year by far this weekend."

WHEN IS YOUR CONTRACT UP AND WOULD YOU CONSIDER BEING A FREE AGENT? "My contract is up in 2010, so I still have a ways. In a way it's good for Dale Jr. If I was in that situation where I wanted to leave Evernham Motorsports, you'd definitely want to do that and get your best deal with a sponsor and a team and an organization and that kind of stuff. If I liked Evernham Motorsports and everything is going great there, which I hope it is, I'd love to stay there for a long time. Then you just make the changes, communicate with Ray and I get the deal done without even causing much of a story or anything. I just re-sign."

IS IT AS DIFFICULT RETRIEVE MOMENTUM AS IT IS TO ACHIEVE IT? "Momentum is what you want. That's for sure. Once you get it things go better, and it's tough to get it."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers David Stremme