KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) NOTE: Kahne scraped the right side of his car in turn two in Happy Hour practice on Saturday. "I just messed up a little bit and got in the wall and messed up the racecar. It's not too bad.
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
NOTE: Kahne scraped the right side of his car in turn two in Happy Hour practice on Saturday.
"I just messed up a little bit and got in the wall and messed up the racecar. It's not too bad. They should be able to get it fixed and we'll be all right for tomorrow. We'll just have to make some slight adjustments. Basically, the body and rear end (received cosmetic damage). We'll get it fixed and be all right for tomorrow. Hopefully we can figure it out and get our Dodge Charger good enough to win tomorrow.
"The car was real loose in first practice and we tightened it up some. It was tight in second practice and we never got it out. It slipped out from under me and I hit the wall. We'll go back to what we were running in the first practice, make some slight adjustments and try to make it better than it was. Hopefully we'll still have a really good Dodge Dealers Dodge tomorrow.
"I was wondering how bad it was (when I was driving back to the garage). You hit hard enough to mess things up. It'll take a little time to get the body back exactly like we want it, but it'll be just fine. The biggest thing is we lose a lot of practice, a lot of time to make it better for tomorrow's race. One good thing, the track will be a lot different tomorrow with the weather. Hopefully we'll hit on it.
"I feel fine. I'm upset with myself for making that mistake and giving these guys a lot of extra work, but I think they'll fix it up as good as it was before. We've got to figure out the setup and what we need to go fast tomorrow. We've been up and down with this car. We've had three good races with it and we've fought back a lot in some of those races. If we do that tomorrow, it'll give us some time to work on it and get it just how we want it.
"It happened off turn two. It got real tight and got loose and hit the right rear corner of the car and then it slapped the whole side after that. I don't want to mess it up, but we've got a bunch of cars that are just as good. We just haven't won with them. This has been our lucky car, but we've got plenty more of them. It's not a big deal other than we missed out on some practice today, and it'll hurt us in the race tomorrow a little bit. Hopefully we'll make a well educated guess on the setup and be pretty close."
KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)
NOTE: Fresh off a runner-up finish last week at Pocono, Busch ranks 17th in the series standings. He's 187 points out of 10th place, currently held by baby brother Kyle Busch. Kurt was second fastest in Saturday morning's first practice session.
YOUR'RE FAST. ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE CAR? "The car's OK. We're fast because I love this place in the morning. The temperatures are down and we had the right setup in to go fast. What needs to happen now, we just need to continue to get looser and looser with our racecar because the way the track changes. We have a truck race this afternoon and it's going to make the track a little tighter and the temperatures will make it a little tighter, but who knows what the forecast will be for tomorrow. We have to go find that extreme range, but we know where we are this morning."
CAN YOU LEARN ANYTHING BY WATCHING THE TRUCK RACE? "Not much. This place, with the gear rule they've given us, is all about the top side. If you can get your car dialed in at the top, that's the way to go."
DID THAT RUNNER-UP FINISH AT POCONO GIVE THE TEAM A LOT OF MOMENTUM? "We don't have to be extreme as far as stretching ourselves thin or trying to get a top-three finish. If we can run in the top 10 each week that will put us in great position when the 26th race rolls around. We're not going to do anything different. I think we're getting closer to our prominent setup. We've had a lot of different things in the car this year. We're getting a little bit closer."
DO YOU LOOK AT THE TOP 10 AND SEE SOME DRIVERS WHO MIGHT NOT BELONG THERE? "There's a Busch in the top 10, but normally it's me. The wrong one is there now, but it's great to see Kyle there. There are some guys in there we think we can run better than. We've just got to do it more consistently. We don't deserve to be in the top 10 right now. We've got to run a little better. It's going to be a little tougher (making up the deficit) this year just because of the testing procedures. We would right now be down to one of our last tests which we would save for Indianapolis because we would have had to get prepared for this stretch leading up to The Chase. This time around we've got two tests left with Indy and Homestead, but we would rather go to some of these other tracks now and get our setup really dialed in."
COMMENT ON DODGE SUCCESS AT MICHIGAN "This place lends itself to a looser racecar, and I believe that's what the Dodge has right now, just the characteristics of the nose and spoiler. I watched the ARCA race yesterday and I think six Dodges were in the top 10. That just shows if you have an independent choice to choose a car for Michigan, you'd choose a Dodge."
WHAT'S YOUR OUTLOOK FOR TOMORROW'S RACE? "We qualified in a decent spot and that gives us a solid pit box. It's just a matter of each session knocking off a couple cars and getting toward the front and not stretch ourselves thin. We don't need to do anything out of the ordinary. I thought we would qualify better yesterday, but the track was hot and slick. It was hard to hit just right, but 13th isn't bad."
HOW WOULD YOU PREFER TRACK CONDITIONS TOMORROW? "You just have to go with what it is. I think great races for Michigan is when it's a little bit overcast and it's cool out. Fans can enjoy the side by side action. If it's hot and slick tomorrow, it's going to be more single file. I think we're pretty solid if it comes down to fuel mileage. At our last test at Kentucky we had three carburetors on the car looking at fuel mileage. You always have to have that in the back of your mind."
LUGNUTS FROM THE DODGE GARAGE -- Dodge has more victories at Michigan International Speedway than any other track since returning to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Circuit in 2001. Dodge has won three of the last five races at the two-mile track in the Irish Hills and has parked in the precious real estate known as victory lane at MIS four times in the past five seasons. Chevrolet has won only once at MIS since 2001, while Ford holds a slim lead with five wins during the five-year stretch.
A triumph Sunday in the 3M Performance 400 would give Dodge two more wins at Michigan than any other track. Dodge has won three times each at Darlington, Dover, Lowe's Motor Speedway and Richmond since 2001. Sterling Marlin won the first race for Dodge at MIS in 2001. Ryan Newman drove his No. 12 Alltel Dodge to MIS wins in 2003 and 2004, while Jeremy Mayfield won last season at MIS in the No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger.