KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- Wins Second Career pole "Qualifying was awesome. We picked up three and a half tenths from practice. I really couldn't believe how well the car cut. I got back in the throttle than I did in...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- Wins Second Career pole
"Qualifying was awesome. We picked up three and a half tenths from practice. I really couldn't believe how well the car cut. I got back in the throttle than I did in practice, and it just kept turning and turning. It was a great lap. I don't think we left anything out there today.
"We keep doing the same things each week, preparing the same way. I've been doing the same things, the team has. We've pretty much been testing every week in the Busch or Cup cars. We get to the track and have good practices in the morning and qualify good. It's been awesome here lately, and Tommy Baldwin and all the guys on the Dodge Dealers team doing a great job.
"This is definitely as high as it's ever been for me. In midgets I think we went on a winning streak one time or actually we did in two years in a row. We won three straight midget races and a Silver Crown and a sprint car race. That was five races in seven or eight days. That was pretty awesome. Each week we come back and race hard and smart and we keep having good weekends. This is pretty awesome so far.
"I hid the egg after Rockingham so it wouldn't break. I brought it back here and I pulled it out last night, but today I didn't act like there was an egg under there at all. Tomorrow in practice, then the Busch race and definitely on Sunday it's going to be about racing the racetrack and racing smart because this track can definitely get you in a hurry.
"I'd say we're just lucky right now. Obviously we have a great race team. I'm a decent driver, but things are going great right now. I don't know why it is, but we're just trying to keep it up. I really don't know why things are so good. I think it's just all the people surrounding me, and Ray Evernham has taught me a lot. As soon as qualifying is over, he's down there telling me things. It's like, man, it doesn't quit with Ray and the things he's having me do. Things are just going great right now.
"There's been a lot this weekend (communication between Busch and Cup teams). We try to go back and forth. We've got Jamie Jones in charge of the Busch team now, so it's a good guy that can talk back and forth to Sammy Johns or Tommy Baldwin up at Evernham's. That's been real nice. Tommy and our engineer have helped the Busch team this weekend. We've kinda gone back and forth with the help from the Busch team and Cup team and tried to learn things from the first practice this morning. This week has been the most out of any where they've really worked together."
"I'm pretty much just been trying to do the same things. When I was on the trailer after qualifying, I was thinking about something and I think I need to just keep doing what I'm doing. I don't know if that's superstitious or what. I don't want to change anything that's been going along lately.
"I think it'll be all day (chasing the track on Sunday). This is a track similar to Rockingham. We chase it all day, and we'll just need to be there again at the end of the race. We'll be racing the racetrack all day. If you start racing other cars here, it seems like you end up getting in the wall or slowing down. I think the track is going to be changing all day. Those walls are going to get closer and closer as the day goes on.
"The last two weeks we've lost a little bit during the center part of the race and had to use a couple of pit stops later in the race to find our way back to the front. I hope Sunday I'll be able to give them better information all the way through the race. It seems like we just go the wrong way a little bit in the center part of the race. If I can just give better information in the middle part of the race, hopefully we'll have a better shot at the end.
"Ray is big on making sure my focus stays where it needs to be. I've been keeping it right where it needs to be. I've been focused on all the things that I was at the start of the season and before the season started. There have been a lot more things going on because of the way we're running, but when it comes down to it I'm still focused on the same areas.
"That's one of the things that is different this year. Probably three-quarters of the way through turn two when you start coming off of it, there's a lot of dust and just real slippery stuff right there, and the same off turn four. You come back off the wall, where we used to run right against the wall in the whole area. It's real slippery. I got into it once today and the car was completely hung out. I ended up saving it, but it's definitely slippery if you get in it. It stays far enough up. If you can keep your right sides out of it, you'll be fine. If your right sides get in it, it'll probably suck you right into the wall or you'll spin out. It'd be hard to really get it away from the wall because it sits real close to the wall. It hits the wall and falls off and sits real close to it."
"That's a great lap here at Darlington. To start first in the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 on Sunday means a great deal to the Dodge Dealers/UAW team. We look forward to Sunday, and we'll work hard tomorrow to get a good balance on the racecar and just try to stay away from the walls all day.
"I'm definitely surprised. It came quick. Tommy Baldwin and the whole team have done a great job. The engine shop is doing an awesome job. The Evernham engines are unbelievable right now. They're running so strong. The Busch cars are up front, too, for tomorrow's race, so we're excited."
NOTE: Kahne is one of only five drivers in NASCAR history to score three top five finishes in their first four races. Two drivers scored four top fives in their first four races.
Immediately after qualifying quote:
"You definitely get to the turn three wall quicker, especially when the tires fall off. It's just another tough way to get around Darlington. It's always been a tough track since I've been coming here. Now it's maybe a little tougher. I held my breath a little bit, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens, but that was a really good lap."