Fontana: Kahne - Friday Dodge interview

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT IT'S LIKE TO RACE ON THIS TRACK AT CALIFORNIA? "The first cars on the track -- when it's cleaned off- when it's green- is the fastest the track is and the best grip, and it will...

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT IT'S LIKE TO RACE ON THIS TRACK AT CALIFORNIA? "The first cars on the track -- when it's cleaned off- when it's green- is the fastest the track is and the best grip, and it will change real quickly here. It will change all weekend long regardless of the rain and every time we got on the track it's going to be good. So we'll just have to stay up on that and see what the weather does.

HOW COMFORTABLE ARE YOU WITH YOUR ENGINES AND YOUR PACKAGE HERE AT CALIFORNIA? "Pretty confident. We had some testing here at the test session. From where were today from where we were in Homestead last year or at the test, we have a lot more power. I think that it's pretty obvious that the Toyota's have a good start -- there were a few of them (Toyota cars) that were real strong at Daytona. But we were all right there -- all our Dodge's were right there we all handled greet and we're fast. It's going to be something that we're going to have to deal with all year long -- trying to keep up with the Toyota's and their power. As far as handling, I think we can handle them, if we do the right things. But our engine package is going to be real good."

DOES THE SEASON REALLY START THIS WEEKEND IN CALIFORNIA? "Yea it does. This is a track that I've ran real for a long time -- it's good for me, it's good for our team- we've won here - we just have to find a way to put it all together this weekend and keep doing the same things that we did in Daytona."

HOW HAS ROBBY GORDON FIT IN AS A TEAMMATE IN TERMS OF LEARNING HOW GEM DOES THINGS SO FAR? "Gillette Evernham obviously has a way of doing things and Robby Gordon has his way of doings -- but they (BAM) have done great job as a single car team. I think when you put the good side of Robby's team with the good side of our team and you can definitely gain from both sides. I think that we have more to offer because we're a bigger organization and have more people - an engine company -- we just have a lot more to offer. Can we learn from Robby (Gordon) to? Yes, we definitely can."

BEFORE HE BECAME YOUR TEAMMATE, WAS ROBBY (GORDON) ALWAYS ONE OF THOSE GUYS YOU HAD TO LOOK OUT FOR ON THE RACE TRACK? "Yea he was (laughing). I've always got along with Robby Gordon. As far as on the race track, when he's around, you have to race differently. He has a different style of racing that is really aggressive. He does things that say 'I'm not going to do that' and you have to say 'I'm not going to take and get a wreck' and try and pass him on the next corner and get on with your day. That's just Robby Gordon and the way it is -- you just have to hold your ground.

IS IT GOING TO CHANGE NOW THAT HE'S YOUR TEAMMATE? "I would certainly hope so -- I mean if it doesn't, there's going to be some problems (chuckling). But I think that Robby's the type of guy who wants to be a teammate and wants to be part of our company. He knows that he gonna race us like were gonna race him -- and if that happens -- we're not going to have any problems."

DO YOU HAVE A REACTION OF THE PENALTY THAT WAS HANDED DOWN TO ROBBY GORDON? "I don't know a whole lot about it. There's a lot more to it than from what I understand, so I haven't got involved too much. But from what I hear, it's (NASCAR penalty imposed) kind of outrageous from what's happened so far."

WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE DODGE'S DECLINE IN PERFORMANCE IN '07? "We were going down hill at the end of 2006. We ran pretty good at Homestead, but other than that, we were on a decline. We just never had it figured out. There were things that were kind of off at Gillette Evernham for a long time and they all kind of caught up and we had a rough year in '07. We changed a lot of things over the off-season and we hope not to have that kind of year. We're gonna race and see what happens. I have a lot of confidence in our team and our company in it being much better. We ran seventh at Daytona (500) last year too and Elliott (Sadler) ran sixth, so it's not like we have some huge difference in the season so far."

YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT THIS TEAM CAN BE, WHAT IS THAT? "I just know that we can win. I know that we can make the Chase. I know that we can win. I know that we can win at just about any track that we go to and as a driver, you feel good--confident.. when you can say that."

-credit: dodge motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robby Gordon