KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) WHAT LESSONS CAN YOU DRAW UPON FROM YOUR VICTORY HERE LAST JUNE? "There's a lot that you can bring. You can bring the same car and setups. Our Budweiser Dodge was really good in race practice today. I...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
WHAT LESSONS CAN YOU DRAW UPON FROM YOUR VICTORY HERE LAST JUNE? "There's a lot that you can bring. You can bring the same car and setups. Our Budweiser Dodge was really good in race practice today. I felt like we were one of the top-five cars again in race practice. We switched to qualifying setup and just missed it a bit and didn't have a good lap. For the race on Sunday, I think that we can bring a lot from what we learned here in June. We had a great car. It was the dominant car here at Pocono that weekend. I think we brought some good data back with us and think that we'll have a good car."
WAS THERE ANY TIRE ISSUES THE LAST TIME NASCAR RACED HERE IN JUNE? "No. I think that we had a really good tire that (Goodyear) brought here for the first race -- it's the same one that we have again this weekend. I look forward in being able to have full race runs and some green flag stops. (It's) a good, strong, durable, racy tire and I'm looking forward to that. Last week was unfortunate, but that' what it was and I'm sure that it won't happen again."
YOU'RE NINTH IN POINTS; CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS RACE? "I feel like we have as good a shot to win as anybody out here. I think we have a great car, great team. We've been running really well and have had some great races, some tough races. I think (Pocono) is one of our better tracks this year and think that we have a really good chance at making the Chase. That's the main goal -- that's what all the teams want to do for their sponsors and owners and the employees that work on these cars. Out of the 14 (drivers) going for the Chase, I think that we have as good a shot as anyone from sixth on back."
HOW DOES THE TACK AT POCONO CHANGE FROM THE JUNE TO AUGUST RACE? "It always seems to slow down a bit. It loses a little bit of grip. It's later in the year and even today our practice speeds were a little over a second slower than what the pole was here for the race a month and a half ago. It always slows down a bit. To me, it still drives really similar -- the handling characteristics of the car -- everything is similar -- your lap times are just slower."
WHAT THE BIGGEST DIFFERNECE IN YOUR TEAM FROM LAST YEAR TO NOW? "We're racing one car full-time. We have some different people in place at Gillett Evernham Motorsports and we have a better starting point this year. Out testing has been great. I think we have a great test team that does a lot for our team now. I feel that everything that they work on is much better than last year. I think the people are the main thing. And the people are the main thing that got it turned around going in a direction to go up and stay up once it gets there. It's good right now. It's better than it was a year ago."
IS THERE SOMETHING TO MOMENTUM THAT PROPELS A TEAM TO SUCCESS EVERY WEEK? "Momentum is good -- it's confidence. It's good for a driver, good for the team, and good for the people back in the shop. You could lose 50-straight races and win one and it's like you forget about all that stuff. It's a relief and it feels so good because of how hard it is to win these races -- for a driver and the whole team, company. I think winning races and running up front is as much of a confidence and momentum builder that you can have in racing."
HOW BIG A ROLE DID THE 'PATCH' IN TURN THREE PLAY IN THE JUNE RACE AND WILL IT BE A FACTOR HERE SUNDAY? "No. It's all the same. It's slower. You're going slower off each of the corners. Your straightaway speed is a touch slower because the grip isn't there. The patch in Turn 3 doesn't have as much grip as it did when were here before. It's easy to slip off the top of it and get too high now which it looks like a lot of people figured out because there are a lot of marks above the patch. It's all the same. It's the same racetrack, jus t a little bit slower and a little bit later in the year. Those are the things that you have to right again on Sunday to win the race."
-credit: dodge motorsports