KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) Runner-up and highest finishing rookie for the second straight race "It was definitely a great run for the Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge. We needed a few more laps. We keep getting down to the end of these...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) Runner-up and highest finishing rookie for the second straight race
"It was definitely a great run for the Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge. We needed a few more laps. We keep getting down to the end of these races and NASCAR needs to put a couple more miles at the end. I think we'd be better off then. It would have been nice to win the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400, but it was a great run for our whole team today.
"Fuel was a concern. The last 30 or 40 laps, Tommy (crew chief Baldwin) was telling me to be real smooth on and off the throttle and to try to save as much as I could. I was trying to do that without giving up too much. I didn't know if I was saving enough or not. It got pretty close there a couple of times. Getting into three one time he (Tony Stewart) got close to my right rear, and I got real loose and slid around. It was fun. He got by me there, and I got him back by him again.
"We learned a lot today. We started out strong and missed it a little bit during the center part of the race. We got loose on entry and it hurt the car pretty bad. I made a couple of mistakes during the middle part and fell back. It was nice to get that car going again at the end and driving it back up through there.
"It was definitely mission accomplished. To run second both days and to qualify third and first, that's all you can ask for. It's a great team effort and a great weekend. It was exciting. We were sliding around a bunch there at the end, saving fuel. They told me to save fuel and be real smooth on the throttle. I was trying to do that, but I didn't want to slow down, either. Obviously I saved enough.
"Tommy Baldwin gives me advice every weekend and tells me to keep my head in the game throughout the race. He's a great crew chief, and we're having fun.
"We learned you don't want to be loose in. That's the way we were yesterday. We went from third to 32nd in the Busch car. You want to be able to drive the car, but these guys gave me a great racecar. The team had great pit stops and I wish we could have won, but we'll take second any day.
"Tony and I both have done a lot of the same things in midgets and sprint cars and silver crown cars. Our driving style is similar. The more horsepower and longer wheel base is something I definitely like more in the stock cars.
"We led laps today. We did a lot of good things this weekend. I think that's going to keep boosting our confidence. We've got to keep this going. This is fun."
"We're gaining points and we need to keep having these good results. That was the first time I've ever had anybody say save fuel. I was like, 'how do I save fuel? Lift early? I remember hearing Ryan Newman talking about saving fuel. I did some of the stuff I heard him talking about. Obviously we saved enough. I don't know if it was anything I did or not. I was trying to save what I could.
"This has been an awesome weekend. Everybody on both teams did a great job. We had a close battle with Tony Stewart. He's a good competitor, and he's helped me out a lot. It's fun to race with him. He got me a little loose getting into turn three with three or four to go, but I was able to save it and kept on racing.
"I think we've got lots of confidence, and we're gaining more. It's fun driving for these guys and getting to work with them each week.
"I've never been in the media center four times in one weekend. It's obviously going good. We've had a lot of fun in the Busch and Cup car. We lost it for awhile today. We got loose in. Tommy Baldwin and the team fixed that, and we got it going good on that final restart. I was trying to save a little bit of fuel at the end of the race. I didn't want to save too much. I don't think I saved as much as they wanted me to, but obviously we got good fuel mileage.
"When they weren't going good, I was getting beat in the corner pretty bad. Once somebody got position, I couldn't race back off the corner with them. At the end I could race in as good or better as most of the cars and get position and drive off. That was the key, getting into the corners. I had one problem getting up through there. I got together with the 10 car going into turn three and thought the race was about over. We were able to get apart from each other and race again. I got to race Tony there at the end. That was pretty fun.
"Early in the race, I got a real good restart and got up in the marbles on the frontstretch trying to make a pass on the 38. When I got back down I had stuff on my tires, and it just didn't turn getting into the corners. That was my fault. Later in the race, I was three wide down the backstretch. I was trying to pass the 10 and he went to the bottom and I went to the bottom. I had to go to the apron and got loose and ran into his door a little bit. Obviously it didn't hurt the car.
"I never expected this. Things have been going really smooth. I've never been in such a good situation. Ray Evernham is the owner and Tommy Baldwin as the crew chief. I've never been able to work with so many good people and figure out racecars, figure out what to do during the run. We went from good at the start to all right to bad to all right to good. That's a lot of changes. That's a lot of hard work from the team. They did a good job getting me out of the pits. They've done a lot for me.
"I came into it as having a huge seat to fill. I was going to do whatever I could to not make mistakes and do everything I could right. Everything that Ray Evernham has asked me to do on and off the track, I've tried to do to keep everything flowing. We've been lucky enough to race good, too. We get a lot of help from Jeremy and Bill. Bill will call me up on the phone and I'll talk to him or I'll see him at the track. I've talked to him a few times this week about Atlanta next week. I've got a lot of good people. I've got a great racecar and it's fun to try to keep everything going as smooth as we can.
"So far it's been great. I got all that going on. I know it can turn bad at any time. I've had a lot of good things happen in racing, but I've also had a lot of bad things. I've learned a lot. My first year in Busch, I think I did everything wrong you can do in a Busch car and get away with it or not get away with it. We don't have to go through a learning curve like that here.
"To run second in these races is fine with me right now. We want to win, and we're going to win sometime. Today it's a lot easier to run second to Matt when he was half a straightaway ahead instead of a couple of feet. I'm fine with running second right now."