Homestead: Kahne - Friday media visit

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/Lifetime Powertrain Warranty Dodge Charger) WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS HEADING INTO THE FINAL RACE? "I think for this weekend we'll be fine. Everybody is happy to get the year done with and finish on a strong note.

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/Lifetime Powertrain Warranty Dodge Charger)

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS HEADING INTO THE FINAL RACE? "I think for this weekend we'll be fine. Everybody is happy to get the year done with and finish on a strong note. It'd be a good way to kind of go into the winter with a real strong run, so I think it'll be just fine to have a good weekend and really do our best and then take some time off. As far as next year goes, that's up the guys. It's up to the guys building the cars, engineers and the people at Gillett Evernham. If they want to get things turned around and figure it out it's up to them."

RAY EVERNHAM SAID THAT HE WAS TAKING A DIFFERENT APPROACH. ARE YOU GOING TO LEAVE IT TO HIM TO HANDLE OR DO YOU WANT TO HAVE INPUT AS WELL? "They have their ideas, and there are lots of ways that you can look at it. You can come up with your own ideas. You can look at what Hendrick Motorsports does. Things that you've done in the past that worked. There's a lot of ways to do it. If it was up to me I think I'd look a little bit at Hendrick."

WHAT IS HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS DOING THAT NO ONE ELSE IS? "They have good teams, good drivers, good crews, engineers, people, lots of people, lots of sponsors. They've been around a long time and they run their teams really well. They run the whole company really well. It all starts at Rick Hendrick. They are a first-class operation. There is no one better in this sport."

WHO DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGER TO HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS FOR NEXT YEAR? "Hopefully the No. 9. That's all that I could hope for. The No. 9 and No. 19, but you know we really have to step it up if we want to be that team."

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS GOING INTO YOUR FINAL RACE WITH DODGE AS YOUR PRIMARY SPONSOR BEFORE MOVING TO BUDWEISER FULL TIME NEXT SEASON? "My biggest thing is to just finish strong. Finish good with Dodge and all of the sponsors on the car right now. We are keeping some of them for next year. Dodge and the Dodge Dealers will still be on it, but Bud is going to be the main sponsor so it's going to be a little bit different. I just want to finish strong for Gillett Evernham and for this team, have a good off-season and then also for Dodge and the sponsors. They put a lot into it for us to perform for them and hopefully we can do that this weekend."

WHEN YOU LOOK BACK ON THE 2007 SEASON FIVE YEARS FROM NOW HOW WILL IT BE REMEMBERED? "Just that we were slow. I mean nothing else. We didn't really crash too much or do too many things that weren't smart. At the end of the day we were just slow."

WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK HEADING TOWARDS THE FIRST FULL SEASON WITH THE COT? "Over the last couple months we've definitely gotten a lot better from where we were. We got a lot better there. It took us a while this year to figure it out and now going to year two I think we'll be a lot better. Hopefully we'll just keep figuring it out. We're a long way from being where we need to be."

IS THE BEST PART ABOUT THE SEASON IS THAT IT IS FINISHING RIGHT NOW FOR YOU? "It is for me. I think it is for everybody. As of right now if we keep going this way we won't get a whole lot better. We need to re-focus and change some things around. Change personnel, teams, people, come up with new ideas on how to make the cars right and kind of start over for next year. That's a good thing. We need to do that."

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN DO TO SHARPEN YOUR FOCUS EACH WEEK? "I like racing. I like driving other cars, whether its Cup cars or Busch cars or sprint cars and all that, and then staying in good shape. Just thinking about it and being really focused. It's doing the same thing that I've always done. I'm a better driver this year than I was last year and we performed much worse. I'm just going to keep doing the same things that I've been doing and try to give the best input I can give and hopefully the guys can come up with a way to make our cars go faster."

DO YOU GUYS HAVE AN OFF-SEASON? "Yeah we do. Not a lot of one, but we get some time off. We get enough time to enjoy ourselves and be prepared before we get started again next year."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup