AMP Energy 500 Post-Race Transcript An interview with: KASEY KAHNE - 2nd JOEY LOGANO - 3rd THE MODERATOR: We'll start with Kasey Kahne, today's race runner up in the AMP Energy 500 here at Talladega Super Speedway. Kasey, your thoughts...
AMP Energy 500 Post-Race Transcript
An interview with:
KASEY KAHNE - 2nd
JOEY LOGANO - 3rd
THE MODERATOR: We'll start with Kasey Kahne, today's race runner up in the AMP Energy 500 here at Talladega Super Speedway. Kasey, your thoughts on how the race unfolded?
KASEY KAHNE: It unfolded good for us. At the end if we got back in the pack, we'd lose the draft. So to have cars around us we tried to keep cars around, behind me mainly. If we were able to do that, we could race pretty decent. The car handled good, which I think everybody's cars handle good here, and we just kind of shot up through there and had great track position on that restart and ran second. So it was good for our Budweiser team.
Q: It was a real strange race. The first two hours you guys were single file trying to figure out what the new rules were, I guess. Then it got sort of crazy. Then at the last ten it got really crazy.
KASEY KAHNE: I think when all these cars are bunched up and things, it's just one little move by one car, and the other guy moves the other way to block or just to go in another gap and that closes, then you have those wrecks. That's just this type of racing. And I think everybody understands that.
It's happened at Daytona plenty of times. It's happened here where you just get up on the wall and kind of go until ten cars decide that's enough of that. We want to build up a line and a lane and come back. But you just kind of sit out there. I wait for somebody to do it, because I'm not going to be the guy that's going to jump out, because I'll be the guy running 43rd right after that.
Q: How did you feel today at the drivers' meeting when NASCAR talked about leaving sunshine between the cars? Did that play out the way you thought?
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, I felt fine with it, really. I have, I think down the straightaway you could still get up behind a car and push really hard and build that speed up, that mile per hour and then get off in the corners. I don't think there's anything wrong with pushing in the corners, but I think they went there because the speeds went up so much. Myself and Hamlin hooked up on Friday, and we went about .6 faster than the people drafting, or .5 at the time of the main drafting group or even more than that point. So they just didn't want to see that. But you could still do it on the straightaways, which was fine, I think.
Q: How did it come to be, do you think, that it was single file for so long? Do you think the drivers all just sensed let's do that? And is that as boring as it looks to us?
KASEY KAHNE: Well, I think it happens because you get four on the inside and six in the middle, and then the lane just got built up to the outside so they gained all that speed. The air, whatever happens there. Then that lane got quicker. The reason it stays there is because nobody really wants to pull out. Because if you pull out, you're going to go to the back unless you get three, four, five guys together that want to push and try to come back up on the inside. So it makes it kind of difficult for the guy that decides I want to do it, because if nobody goes with you, then you go to the back. It's happened at Daytona. It's happened here before.
JIMMIE JOHNSON: I also think people know they shouldn't race yet, there's no need to. They might as well ride and log some miles. I know it's boring for everybody else, but we breath better when it's single file at the top. So we know at the end we'll bunch up and race.
Q: Was it boring for you guys?
JIMMIE JOHNSON: For me it may have been more relieving than others because you can finally just ride and log some miles. We can run 497 miles around here, and it doesn't matter, it's just that last lap.
THE MODERATOR: Also joined by our points leader, Jimmie Johnson.* He drives the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet. And today with the third place finisher, the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota is Joey Logano. Congratulations to both of you all. Joey, I'll ask you, what were your thoughts out there and how things unfolded for the No. 20 team today?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, crazy like everybody else says, I guess. We had a decent car, I felt like. You know, everyone just felt the same out there. And throughout the whole race I was just putting my car in different positions. Trying to learn as much as I can about being around other cars and what helps and what doesn't. I try to make as many friends out there as I can for the end of the race and be positioned there at the end. So a lot of it is being in the right place at the right time, and missing the wrecks and being ahead of it all. So overall it's good. As soon as I got the last restart behind Kasey, and I was shoving him, and he was just pushing the 26 ahead, and got our whole lane going, so it was a good run for us today.
Q: How does it affect you as a competitor when you're told only an hour before you're going to go 200 miles an hour that you have to do it differently than you've done it before?
KASEY KAHNE: It didn't affect my race at all, because I can't push that hard anyways. I can't keep up with how they're cruising. I need to get in the middle of the pack and hope to get pushed by somebody like that. But it doesn't effect what I was doing at all.
JIMMIE JOHNSON: I have to agree. The rules change they made didn't make the racing anymore dangerous at the start of the race. There is nothing there from a fear factor or concern factor. They tried to take away an opportunity for us to wreck. But I think we all knew it was coming. On Friday they sent some feelers out. In the truck race there were some more opinions floating around of what could and could not take place. I think we all knew about it coming into the race. So we weren't blind sided, and it wasn't something that was going to put us in harm's way.
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I agree. It wasn't going to change much of what I was going to do. I'm not the biggest pusher out there either. And you know, you see people, we're doing it down the straightaway still, and you still saw the same benefit down the straightaway and they were letting up through the corners. So there was less wrecks today as far as during the race. Not the end, but overall I guess it was good.
Q: Joey, this is your second time in the Sprint Cup here in Talladega. I was just wondering about your thoughts about today's race with all the Newman in the air, and the big one at the end?
JOEY LOGANO: I didn't see any of them. So I had my big one at Dover, so I know you can survive them and be okay. So I wasn't really worried about it. Like I said earlier, the race seemed to be pretty calm until the end. As far as having a strategy at the end of the race or anything, I was just whoever was in front of me I was going to push like heck and hope for the best. You almost can't even have a plan. You know, sitting there on the red flag you're thinking what can I do to get myself the best finish I can? And you sit there and think. The only thing you can do is have a good restart, and it all kind of depends on what the guy's doing in front of you. I was able to get the good restart and the caution came out anyway, so...
*For more Johnson quotes:
See also: Talladega II: Points leader post race press conference