Michigan: Pole winner interview

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) NOTE: Kahne captured his fourth pole of the season, beating Jeff Gordon by a whisker. "Our Dodge Charger was really good today. That was a great run, and we'll be starting out front on...

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)

NOTE: Kahne captured his fourth pole of the season, beating Jeff Gordon by a whisker.

"Our Dodge Charger was really good today. That was a great run, and we'll be starting out front on Sunday. I'm looking forward to it. This will be a great track to keep those Chargers up front. It's so close to Detroit. It should be a lot of fun. I was worried when Jeff Gordon went out. He always qualifies well and I've seen him get the pole here before. It ended up close, but we were able to get it. I was sweatin' for sure. We were a little free in turn three and then I got right back in the throttle. It carried a lot of momentum and stayed right where I wanted it on the track. It was better than it was in practice. I was happy Kennis Francis and the guys made a few adjustments, and it went the right way. It was a good run for us. When you see the 24 going last and the 16 and 18 and a lot of good cars going late, but the track had stayed really close. I was hoping the sun wouldn't go down or anything like that and it didn't. It was really a pretty fair test for all of us. I was waiting on Jeff. It was maybe he will and maybe he won't, but I was definitely nervous."

THIS IS THE CHARGER YOU'VE WON WITH THREE TIMES THIS SEASON. WHY IS IT SO GOOD? "I don't really know. They built it during the off season, the guys at Evernham Motorsports, and we've just had some great runs with it. We've been up and down in all of those races. We've probably fallen back to 20th or in that area in all of those races and fought our way back. It's very sensitive to being off. You can get it off, but you can also get it right back. Small adjustments really work on the car. If you can keep it in that area, that good side of things, it's fast. That's what we're looking for on Sunday. We should have a great starting spot, and we'll just make fine-tune adjustments throughout the race and hopefully we'll be there at the end and have a shot."

HAVE YOU PUT MORE EMPHASIS ON QUALIFYING? "We really haven't. We made one run today, one lap in qualifying trim during practice. We worked on our race setup the entire time and got the car comfortable. We wanted to keep working on it, but we ran out of time. We figured out the changes we needed to put us in the ballpark when it came to qualifying from where our car was in race trim. We made one run and ended up on top and ended up on top in qualifying. It's a really good group of guys."

COMMENT ON POINTS RACE "When I came into this season, I put down some things I was going to work on, and I gave it to the team. One of them was to bring home the cars in one piece and the other was communication with Kenny Francis and my guys on the team. So far we've been able to do a good job with that. We've been able to make the cars better every weekend and bring most of the cars home. If we keep doing that we should end up in the top 10. If we get sidetracked or I start wrecking cars, we'll probably miss it. We'll just keep trying to do the same things we've been doing."

COMMENT ON ROAD COURSE RACING "I tested last week with Boris Said one day, and I feel like I learned some things. I feel like we can run in the top 15 and keep the car on the course. That will be the big thing. I don't feel like personally I can go there and win the race. I don't think that I'm good enough road course driver yet to do that, but I've made gains. I think we can finish in the top 15 and with a little luck maybe better than that. The key will be to keep it on the road and bring the car home in one piece."

COMMENT ON YOUR CONFIDENCE IN THE TEAM "It goes back to preparation, and my team has done an awesome job ever since we hit on some things in off season testing. We've been able to fine tune and come back to them. I think the communication is there and as long as we keep doing that stuff we should keep showing up with great racecars."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Boris Said