KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) COMMENTS ON THE BUD SHOOTOUT? "It's exciting, it's fun, it's great to get the season kicked off in the Shootout. I'm happy we're in it. We won the most polls last year, and this will be the ...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
COMMENTS ON THE BUD SHOOTOUT? "It's exciting, it's fun, it's great to get the season kicked off in the Shootout. I'm happy we're in it. We won the most polls last year, and this will be the fourth time that I have been in the Bud Shootout, so it's cool. We'll just go for a win, and that's what everyone is doing, so it should make for a great race. "
COMMENTS ON THE DIFFERENCES IN DRIVING BETWEEN THE BUD SHOOTOUT AND THE DAYTONA 500? "The Bud Shootout is the first race of the year, so you kind of remember how to draft again, and just get in there. You don't have to worry about points, so you just go for it. Next week in The Daytona 500, there are more cars and you really have to worry about finishing and being there late in the race, and that is key - you need points. To finish The Daytona 500 up in the top 10 would be huge for us to get a good start to hopefully another great season."
COMMENTS ON EVERYONE'S CHANCES TO WIN "You're still going to need to have a good car, and you still have to make the right decisions, make the right moves late in the race and have the right people with you. The only way you are going to do all that is to have the right car."
COMMENTS ON THE CHANGES TO THE CAR NOSE "It is tough to say, we didn't draft too well during the test, but Elliott (Sadler) did and Scott (Riggs) did, and I saw the Ganassi cars did, so I think the nose will be just fine. We were a little bit underpowered for the test, and we have a lot more now with the engine we brought back.
COMMENTS ON DRIVING AGAINST TOYOTA IN THE SHOOTOUT "Brian and Dale both are great restrictor plate drivers, and they are in good cars with good teams, so we'll see they have on these type of race tracks, and then when we go to California we will see what they have on those types of race tracks. I'm interested to see how they fare.
COMMENTS ON THE CHANGES TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS SYSTEM "It should open it up a little bit more, give you few more bonus points here and there basically for winning, and you are still going to need to be consistent. You are still going to need to do the things that have gotten the people in The Chase in the past, and then wins will help. Especially when you get those bonus points for the wins, so I think its nice to help out winning and show that's worth more than running second."
WILL YOU BE THINKING ABOUT THE POINTS THAT YOU COULD GET FROM WINNING THE DAYTONA 500, OR JUST WINNING THE DAYTONA 500? "You want to race the Daytona 500. You want to win that race. It's such a big event, such an awesome weekend. That is what I think every NASCAR driver wants is a Daytona 500, but you also need to think about the win, and if your car isn't capable or if you are not capable of winning the Daytona 500 then you need to think about getting the points, because it is a long season. It is a good time to start out strong early."
WHAT DO YOU LEARN FROM THE BUD SHOOTOUT THAT TRANSFERS TO THE DAYTONA 500? I think you can learn some things. The track will be completely different. It always changes a lot for the night race compared to a day race, and every race here is completely different. The way that the cars handle and where the racing line is and how people are racing each other so its not going to be a real bid deal, but as a driver you can learn some things and as a team you can learn a little bit on some adjustments.
ARE YOU GOING TO BE WORKING ON THINGS DURING THE BUD SHOOTOUT OR ARE YOU GOING TO TRY TO WIN THE RACE? It's all about winning. That is all we are going for, it's all we are here for. The things that you can work on are things that you'll work on whether you are winning the race or losing the race.
ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
COMMENTS ON THE BUD SHOOTOUT "I think it is a great warm up race for all the drivers as far as drafting is concerned. It is a different tire then what we had here last year, so we are going to put a lot of laps on them, see what happens. Get used to the spotter again. We can go all out - there are no points involved, there are no ramifications of it. You can also learn a lot I think for the Daytona 500 too, so I think it is a great event just to be a part of this Bud Shootout."
IF YOU HAVE TO WRECK THE CAR ON THE FINAL LAP TO WIN DO YOU THINK RAY EVERNHAM WILL BE UPSET? "No, I think Ray wants to go for wins, and pretty much has set the bar pretty high for us. That is what we are here for, nothing different, so if we have to take some chances to get our car to the front - I am willing to do that.
COMMENT ON CARRY OVER YEAR-TO-YEAR AT DAYTONA "I think it is carry over a little bit. I mean Goodyear has changed it up a little bit with a different tire, so we have had to change the settings on the front of these cars a little bit. I think a driver knows what kind of set up he likes to be competitive. I know what I want my car to feel like to be competitive during the race. I kind of know the characteristics I need to have to be competitive during the Daytona 500, so we will see. I have been very lucky here the last couple years, ran very well, had some great finishes and I want to continue that streak."
IS ELLIOT SADLER A "RESTRICTER PLATE ACE" RIGHT NOW? "I don't know if I am an ace or not, but I understand restrictor plate racing very well, and I kind of know what I need to have, and know what I need to have in a car. My team director Josh Browne and I have been working very hard on that during the test here at Daytona to make sure that we have the things in place to build a message on the car a little bit and adjust to it. Handling is very important here. Yes, it is a restrictor plate race and it is all about motor and body for qualifying, but for the race if you are not handling you are not going to be having a great day here at Daytona."
HOW MUCH DID YOU LEARN FROM DALE JARRETT LAST YEAR? I have learned a lot about drafting from Dale Jarrett. Even when I drove the No. 21 car, with Eddie Wood, I learned a lot from Dale Jarrett. I have been a student of his for such a long time here at these super speedway races, and working close hands with him I have learned a lot and tried to bring some of that with me that I can knowledge wise to help my guys in my crew give me what I need to be competitive.
COMMENTS ON STARTING HIS FIRST FULL SEASON WITH THE NO. 19 TEAM. "I think any time you can go to a job early and get all the newness out of the way and learning curves out of the way, I think it definitely helps coming especially into a race like the Daytona 500, where you can not afford to worry about communication and things like that. I mean you just have to pretty much hit the ground running. I think it helped us a lot. We learned a lot about each other, we gained confidence in each other last year and we can use some of that this year.
COMMENTS ON EVERNHAM'S CHANCES OF BECOMING A TOP TEAM WITH ITS CURRENT DRIVER ROSTER. "I think we are already a top team. We are just one championship away, just one restrictor plate win away from being a top notch team right now and we are working very hard to make that happen. Kasey, Scott and myself have been working with each other, trying to help each other on all different types of race tracks, not only restrictor plate races. There is going to be a lot of great things at Evernham Motorsports this year.
-credit: dodge motorsports