Fontana II: Kahne - Friday media visit

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) KYLE (BUSCH) AND CARL (EDWARDS) WERE PUT ON PROBATION LAST WEEKEND, WILL IT CHANGE HOW THEY RACE? "I don't think so. I don't know what probation means, but I've been on it before and it didn't...

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)

KYLE (BUSCH) AND CARL (EDWARDS) WERE PUT ON PROBATION LAST WEEKEND, WILL IT CHANGE HOW THEY RACE? "I don't think so. I don't know what probation means, but I've been on it before and it didn't change anything for me. I think what it means is that you just can't go and wreck somebody or they (NASCAR) are going to do something worse to you.

"As far as Carl and Kyle, I think it's great. There's a little rivalry there now. It's going to make it interesting. It should be good for the fans, and I'm a fan, so I'm going to enjoy watching what they do between each other. I think it's good; there both awesome drivers with awesome teams."

HOW PHYSICALLY DEMANDING IS THIS RACE? "I don't think that it's too bad. It's definitely hot. It's a hot race, but once the sun goes down, it cools off pretty good. It's not too bad. There's a lot of time at this track where you can relax going down the straightaway a little bit. I wouldn't say that it's one of the more physically demanding tracks."

CAN YOU COMPARE IT TO ANY OTHER TRACKS? "I'd say it compares to Michigan (International Speedway). The corners are so long that you can have a loose car and work through the corners a lot which can wear you out -- get your heart rate up. It's not too bad."

HOW MUCH DOES A DRIVER TRUST HIS SPOTTER? "I trust mine (spotter) a lot. It just depends on what kind of spotter you want. Some of the spotters feel like they control a lot more than they do. They feel like if I clear (a car), the other guy is going to back off. That's not the spotter's decision. Between me and my spotter, we have a good relationship where he doesn't clear me unless I'm clear. That's just the way it is. He'll let me know if it's real close to clear or whatever it is, that's how we work. I think that's the best way. A lot of time spotters get cocky up there and they think that they can just clear a guy and the other guy is going to lift -- and if Michael Waltrip decides not to lift, there's going to be a big wreck. And that's what happened (in Bristol)."

DO YOU HAVE TO WORK ON THAT RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR SPOTTER? "No, I just think that it's the person. How does he or she want to do it? It just depends on what they feel like and what their relationship is with the driver."

WILL YOU PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT (DAVID) RAGAN OR (CLINT) BOWYER ARE DOING ON THE TRACK THE NEXT TWO WEEKS? "I watched them last week when I was out of the race and saw that both of them were having great runs. As far as this weekend, if they race well and we race well, we're not going to make the Chase. If they have some races where they are a little slower and we're good, then we'll probably make the Chase. It's going to be interesting. I'm up for it. I'm excited for it. We'll just see what happens. I have no idea what's going to happen. I think that we should have some really good cars. I think we'll be really fast. I look forward to that side of it."

HOW DISAPPOINTED ARE YOU ON HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED FOR THE BAD FOR YOU OVER THE LAST TWO RACES? "I'm not really disappointed. I feel like we've come a long ways since last year. We were going for sixth in points two weeks ago and ended up 14th two weeks later. It's racing; that's the way it goes. I think that we have a good enough team that if we make the Chase, we can run in the top five of the points. If we don't make the Chase, we're going to run 13th in points. It's going to be disappointing. When you have bad weekends or depend on what happens with these next two (races), we'll just have to wait and see where we are at."

WITH ALL THE SUCCESS THAT YOU'VE HAD AT LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY EARLIER THIS YEAR, ARE YOU SURPRISED WITH THE POSITON THAT YOUR TEAM IS CURRENTLY IN? "Not really. We were really good those couple weeks -- four weeks in a row -- but other than that, we've been pretty much a 15th place car all season. It's a lot better than where we were last year. I know how quickly things can change. We had two bad weeks. Two weeks ago we were going for sixth in points and now we are 14th. That's racing. That's the way it goes. I think that we are still a good enough team to be sixth or seventh in points. If we get the right breaks, we'll end up back in the Chase."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE THE SAME TEAM THAT WON THOSE TWO RACES BACK IN CHARLOTTE? "I feel like that we have a great shot at winning this weekend. It's because of our team and our cars and the people preparing them. I'm looking forward to our shot the next couple weeks and making the Chase."

DOES IT WEIGH ON YOUR MIND THAT YOU COULD POTENTIALLY MISS FOUR OF THE FIRST FIVE CHASE TO THE CHAMPIONSHIPS? "It's not very good to look at that way. That's the way it is. It's disappointing, but it's the way our teams have been. It's the way Gillett-Evernham has been. It's the way our drivers have been. You can look at the other Dodge teams; it's the way they've been as well. It's disappointing, but that's where we are at. It's the situation we are in. We've come a long ways since last year and we're working to get past that to start making more Chases than we miss. It takes time."

CAN YOU COMMENT ON REED SORENSON JOINING YOUR TEAM NEXT YEAR? "I'm looking forward to it. I think Ganassi has a great IRL team, but their Cup stuff to date hasn't been all that great. I know how much our stuff has gone up and down and they're similar to that -- probably not as good as we are. I think Reed has to get his confidence back and if he gets into some good cars, I think he'll get his confidence back and will be good. He was good right when he got into the sport. I don't see why he can't be up there again."

IF YOU HAVE TO PASS HIM (SORENSON) DOES HE LET YOU GO BY EASIER? "No, me and Reed race each other the same for three years. I'd say we'll race each other the same this weekend."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip