Darlington: Pole winner interview

Kahne wins pole! KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- Pole winner "I wasn't sure we were going to be able to hang on, but it was a great lap for our Dodge Dealers team. These guys did a good job to make the car a little bit...

Kahne wins pole!

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- Pole winner

"I wasn't sure we were going to be able to hang on, but it was a great lap for our Dodge Dealers team. These guys did a good job to make the car a little bit better than it was in practice, and I feel like we're going to have a good car tomorrow night. My lap was pretty good. It was in the racetrack pretty well. It cut the first turn awesome and the back was out of the track a little bit. I just had to hang on to it. I had a lot of fun qualifying. It's always a blast to race and qualify at Darlington.

"The team did a good job today by making a few changes before qualifying. We weren't nearly that fast in practice. They moved some things around and adjusted on the car a little bit and it really paid off there. It was a great car to drive.

"Hopefully the car will be good enough. It was real good in practice on race runs. Hopefully it'll stay like that tomorrow. The crew has been doing good jobs this year on pit stops and Tommy (crew chief Baldwin) is making good calls. The key will be for me to stay out of the wall and keep the fenders on the car. It's such an easy racetrack to touch the wall and have to take time on every pit stop to mess with the fenders. If I can do that, hopefully we'll be up there.

"It's pretty awesome that we're able to have two Dodge drivers on the front row. For us to get the Dodge Charger 500 pole was great, and we're looking forward to the race. It's a great feeling to get a Bud Pole this year. I think it's been since the middle of June (at Pocono) that we got our last one.

"Right there my car turned so much better than it did in practice getting into the corner. When I floored it again, I was free in one and two and off. I had to lift out a little bit on the exit, but we got in pretty good and really made up a lot of ground in three and four also. The car was good. The back was out of the racetrack a little bit, but the front was so positive in turning that I knew where it was.

"If you're tight in qualifying, you'll definitely be tight in the race. If you're loose in qualifying you might be all right. I'd say we'd be pretty decent. We'll make a few changes and hopefully it'll be pretty decent. It's hard to say. These impound races are so much different than what we had last year when we got to practice. A lot of it you're not sure into you got into the race.

"I've only been in one (night race at Darlington). I don't really think so. Those trucks drive so much different than the Cup cars do. It was a lot of fun racing under the lights here. It's so much different going down the backstretch when it's dark than when it's light out. Really other than that, we've just kinda got what we've got.

"I kinda was (a history buff) but more into sprint cars. I knew a lot about the history there, a lot of the dirt races. I've watched non-stop NASCAR races since I was little, but I just know of Darlington as a really tough racetrack, very easy to get into the wall and a lot can happen here. That's about it. My history isn't the best in NASCAR.

"We've had some success here. It's a pretty tough track. It can bite you. It's gotten me a couple of times. I've run into the wall a couple of times, not too hard yet so that's a good thing. The guys have done a good job on the car. I don't know if that'll be the pole or not, but hopefully it'll end up in the top five. Starting up front tomorrow night should be a lot of fun.

"I finally got my hair cut this week. I went to Great Clips and got my hair cut and tried to change some things. It's a good way to start out. That's the fastest we've been on the track. They made some good changes from practice. Hopefully we'll have a good race this weekend. No tracks I used to race at growing up were like this, but I raced at a lot of tracks where you raced close to the wall in a winged sprint car. I don't mind it. I enjoy racing beside the wall. The biggest thing is just not touching it. If you do touch it it'll pull you right into it. I've done it way too many times. Hopefully tomorrow night we won't do it.

"My first truck race and first truck win came at Darlington last fall, and it was under the lights. It was really cool. The last two hours of the Cup race here last year was under the lights, and everybody is forgetting about that. I enjoy racing under the lights here with the atmosphere and fans and being right up against the wall. I pretty much run the same way at this track in all three series. Running the Busch race, I'll have a lot more laps here in two days than most of the guys. We would have had a lot more if not for the rain, but we'll get a few laps. It's the same old Darlington. It's tough to get hold of and it'll be tough to get everything to go the way you want.

"It would be huge to win here. It'd be a great track to win a Cup race at, especially my first one. It's a tough track to stay out of the wall and stay out of wrecks and get your car handling good. You've got to stay focused for the entire race, but to win your first race here would really be cool. If you start up front you'll have a little better shot at staying up there all night. If you start in the back, you've just got to be careful working your way up through it. Last year I crashed in the last practice and had to start in the back. We came up through there pretty good. It really doesn't matter, but it'd be better to start up front.

"You get special feelings sometimes when you're in the car and it feels a certain way. I felt like this week it would be a good week for us. I've been confident all week long. I think this could be a week where we turn everything around and start going in the right direction and start getting back in the middle of this deal. The team is coming around. We're working hard on the Charger. This would be a great race to win for our sponsor. It goes without saying that a Dodge Charger should win the Dodge Charger 500."

-dodge motorsports-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup