KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- Qualified 3rd, top rookie. "It wasn't a perfect lap. I jumped back in the throttle real quick to carry the speed. It pushed a little bit. I gave it more wheel, and it pushed off after that. It...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- Qualified 3rd, top rookie.
"It wasn't a perfect lap. I jumped back in the throttle real quick to carry the speed. It pushed a little bit. I gave it more wheel, and it pushed off after that. It wasn't a perfect lap, but it was our darn good lap for our Dodge Dealers car. Where we were I needed to get back in the throttle like I did to go as fast as Ryan. I saw what he did. I tried doing it and we pushed a little bit, but it was a good lap for us.
"We qualified pretty good last week, too, but now we've got to get to the races. I backed it up a little bit in practice. We were second and third (in practice) and ended up qualifying third and fourth. We lost a spot. We needed to go the other way. We're real happy with that.
"I'm very satisfied. I'm starting third in a Nextel Cup race. That's pretty cool. The team did an awesome job. I'll keep working with Tommy Baldwin, and the team and hopefully we'll keep getting better. I've always loved qualifying. Now that we've got Evernham engines, they're always great. We should be able to qualify good at a lot of races.
"I watched Ryan Newman qualify, and I saw where he got back in the throttle. I knew I needed to do that in order to run as fast as him. I did it and actually got too tight and pushed the nose. I had to get back out of it. That kind of slowed us down in turn one. We got through three and four pretty good. The car was really good. I was just a little too aggressive taking off in one and two. Other than that, it was a great lap for the Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge.
"Bill (Elliott) was really good here at the end of the year. We tested here three or four weeks ago, and Bill came here and helped out a little bit. Tommy Baldwin has done a great job with the car. It's probably a little different than where Bill had it. He drives a little different than I do, but it's fairly close. I think it's going to be really good in race runs.
"So far we've qualified good in the Cup and Busch races. We haven't raced very good. We've got to work on that Saturday and Sunday and hopefully we'll come out with a couple of top 10s.
"We practiced just qualifying. When we tested here we just did race runs. Jeremy made a 30-lap race run at the start of practice. That'll help us if rain gets in the way. Our tests will help us out a lot if it rains. Hopefully we'll get all the practice we need tomorrow morning, but if not, I think we'll have a good starting point."