Richmond: Kahne - Friday media visit

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) YOU HAVE TO FEEL GOOD WITH YOUR POSITION IN THE STANDING SO FAR THIS YEAR? "Yeah, I think we're right there. We've had a few races that weren't so good for points, but we still were running strong. The...

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)

YOU HAVE TO FEEL GOOD WITH YOUR POSITION IN THE STANDING SO FAR THIS YEAR? "Yeah, I think we're right there. We've had a few races that weren't so good for points, but we still were running strong. The last three races, we haven't scored many points, but we're a top 10 -- and Talladega - you're anywhere from 1st to 40th. But as far as the two before that, we had a shot easily in the top 10. The guys are doing a great job. The team is coming together. Gillett Evernham has done a good job putting everyone back together and working hard for our goal. I think our cars are much better. I was third today in practice. Elliott was fifth. The Nationwide car we were second, so I think things are coming and getting better."

CAN YOU COMMENT ON DARLINGTON NEXT WEEKEND? "I was thinking about that today while they were making some changes. Richmond is a great track for myself and the team. We've had a lot of success here. I was thinking about Darlington next week and that's going to be a lot of fun. It's always been a great race track for me. As far as one that I look forward to; Darlington is in the top five. It's something that you just look forward dto. Now with the new surface, there's kind of the unknown with how it's going to be with race cars all in a pack. I've heard that it's a lot faster, a lot smoother, it's a bit different. I don't know until I get there. I was thinking about that making my first lap, I'm not racing the Nationwide car next week. It's just going to be the Cup series. It's going to be fun; I can't wait to qualify there. I think I've had three poles there. We'll try to go for four -- it's probably going to be a track record-type race track. We were always a way off because the last time they repaved it, they went super fast there. It has slowed down a lot. I think it will probably be close to the speed again, even with the COT machines."

WOULD YOU RATHER SEE SHORTER RACES OR SHORTER SEASONS? "I like racing so 38 weekends is a lot. I just enjoy racing. If we don't run that many weekends, I'm going to be racing somewhere else.

"As far as races go, there are some races that are too long. I guess they like the 500 miles and 400s because it's a longer TV broadcast. I don't know how that works. To me, some of those races, you don't even race until the end because too many things can happen. You just save your stuff and wait until the end; that happens a lot of times. NASCAR races have always been a long race. I think 38 races is a lot. I'm going to race either way. Some of the races are a bit long."

IS THERE ANY CONCERN ABOUT THE CROWN ROYAL 400 RACE NOT BEING A SELLOUT? "When you're a driver, the teams and everyone gets excited for these night races. Especially Richmond, it's such a fun track to race on; my first Cup victory. If it's not full, that's disappointing. You can't ask for too much. Times are tough for some people and it's difficult to get to some of these races. Whether it's gas money or spending money once you get to the track, it's a tough thing. I love seeing packed houses, I think everyone does. It's exciting and makes for a lot of fun. NASCAR -- some of the races are very exciting and should be full. Other races aren't quite as exciting and we have to figure out how to make them more exciting and make the racing side-by-side and more exciting for the fans. If we can do that, I think it will keep bringing the fans back and as times go on, things will get better with the economy and we get full houses again."

YOU WON YOUR FIRST RACE HERE IN 2005, HOW DID THAT FEEL? "I battled Tony Stewart at the end. That was a good day for us. It was a fun race. We went from a bunch of second places in '04 and to come here and win this race was a huge night for us. I'd love to do it again. Budweiser hasn't won here since the following year, that same race with Dale Jr. For them as a sponsor, they need to get back to the Winner's Circle as well. It's been a while for myself. I'd love to win this week and qualify well. I think we're going to have a couple good Dodge Chargers."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup