Phoenix: Kahne - Dodge Thursday interview

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) COMMENT ON CHEVY'S SUCCESS "Chevy has good teams. They have some good drivers and good teams, and so does Dodge, Toyota and Ford. Chevy just seems like they're always a little bit ahead, ...

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

COMMENT ON CHEVY'S SUCCESS "Chevy has good teams. They have some good drivers and good teams, and so does Dodge, Toyota and Ford. Chevy just seems like they're always a little bit ahead, whether it's aerodynamically, or their teams are doing a better job of figuring out how to make their cars right. I don't know. I think driving a Dodge, it seems like we always struggle more in traffic even when we won six races. It would take me longer to get to the front than say Jimmie Johnson and we could be better than him when we got to the front."

HAVE YOU LEARNED MORE ABOUT THE AVENGER? "I think it will be fine. We've just got to hit on the right things. We were really good at Bristol, one of the best cars, all three of the Evernham cars, and at Martinsville we all struggled. We went the wrong direction and struggled at the Richmond test. We have some other ideas for Phoenix and hopefully we start hitting on some things. It's time we start hitting on some things."

HOW IS YOUR CONFIDENCE RIGHT NOW? "My confidence is all right. I feel like we still have good teams, good people. We just have to make the right adjustments and build the bodies the right way. That's the biggest thing with say last week's car, building the bodies the right way. We are trying to figure out what that right direction is. It feels a lot like 2005 when we changed over to the Charger nose initially. We just haven't made the right decisions with the body, and I think once we make those right decisions we should be all right."

HOW FRUSTRATING HAS IT BEEN? "It's been frustrating, but we've also done a good job at times. When you're happy with 20th at Texas, that's weird for me to be happy with 20th, but I was really kind of happy when the race was over at Texas and we were 20th. I had a car in one piece. That's where we were that weekend. We weren't going to be any better than that. I feel like we actually gained some spots because some things happened or we wouldn't have had that finish. It's frustrating to know we can't win races right now at a track where we were so strong last year, but when we get to Phoenix we should have as good a shot as anybody if we do the right things and figure out the setups. It's a tough deal. Everybody is really close. If you miss it a little bit it's hard to run up front."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE TEAM LEADER? "My biggest thing as a driver right now is just making sure I bring it home in one piece and get all the points we can each week and not get down on the guys because they're working hard and it's just a matter of trying to do everything right on my side of things. As the year goes on, hopefully the cars get faster."

COMMENT ON POSSIBILITY OF CHRYSLER BEING SOLD "I don't know a whole lot about that. Dodge is behind us and they say whatever happens they're still going to be behind us, so that's the least of my worries. I'm worried about going fast right now and could care less about that other stuff."

COMMENT ON YOUR RESTRICTOR-PLATE PROGRAM "We've had our tough races with restrictor-plates and Ray has put a big effort into making it better. Whether it'll be next week when we go to Talladega or next year when we go to the Daytona 500. It's going to get better as time goes on. It's not there yet, hopefully we'll get there soon."

HOW DO YOU LIKE RACING AT TALLAEGA? "I like racing there, but I hate wrecking there. I hate being in everybody else's mess when other people screw up, but that's part of it. If you're not in one of the wrecks it's usually a pretty good time running that close together for 500 miles. It's a hectic, exciting day."

WHAT KIND OF RACE DO YOU EXPECT WITH THE COT HERE? "It's tough to say. I know how it was at Bristol. I don't think it'll be any easier to pass here, but it might not be that much harder, either. Until we're actually on the track Saturday night racing, we don't really know."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson