NASCAR Media Conference
September 23, 2008
THE MODERATOR: KASEY, we appreciate you coming by. Obviously, this is a racetrack that's been good to you. You've won this fall race before. You've won the first two here this season. You're testing out there today and tomorrow. Your thoughts about next month's race here at Lowe's?
KASEY KAHNE: You know, really just looking forward to it. We have a neat opportunity to try to win all three. We've won, basically, we've won all the races here. Just haven't done it all in one year. So that's kind of a cool opportunity for our whole Budweiser Team.
Looking forward to it. Looking forward to coming back and racing here. You know, the test the next two days should be really good for the race here and also for ourselves when we go to Kansas, Texas, and Atlanta, Homestead. I think we can learn a lot in the next couple of days that we can apply to those tracks.
Kind of excited being here testing for the next couple of days and getting ready for the race in October. The Bank of America 500 should be a good race. It's been really exciting and fun in the past. So, hopefully, it will be like that again this year.
Q. Interested in sort of getting some thoughts from you on your goals from here until the end of the season. Also, some thoughts on just the fact that obviously you're not getting as much attention now that the Chase guys are walking.
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, the attention side of things is fine. We've missed the Chase. That is the race, the race for the Cup. And those guys deserve to have the attention, I guess.
We can get it by running up front and hopefully, winning. Trying to win some more races and just being in that mix. Being up front with those top 12 guys who you know will be there every race.
So keep working on that. We want to race up front. We want to do what we can to win another race this year. Hopefully, sweep Lowe's.
As far as the rest of the year, it's kind of what we've done all year. I think we're still learning about the C.O.T. car. We're still learning about the tires and how to make them work the right way at each racetrack. It takes time.
But we've come a long ways in the last year. I feel like we still have a ways to go. But the guys are doing a good job. We're learning and this will be a good test to learn a little bit more and hopefully get us back with some Top 5's before the season's done.
Q. You just talked about having come a long ways this year. Just kind of evaluate where you think the Gillette-Evernham organization is compared to last year. And what are some of the things that the organization and guys have been getting better on with these last big races to be prepared for 2009?
KASEY KAHNE: Well, I think we're definitely better as far as speed. Just when we show up at the racetrack and we start practice in practice start the race we're faster than what we were last year. So the cars are better, the chassis that they're building, you know, the engines. Everybody's working really hard to make that stuff better.
I know the R6, the new Dodge engine has taken a little bit of time. We don't have it yet, but we're working hard to do the best what we can with what we have.
Our cars are actually really nice. I think they're some of the nicest cars in the garages as we keep updating them and making them better and newer.
But, you know, we just need to keep working on the set-ups. Keep working on the package that's underneath the car. Just to keep the car on the racetrack. We still have a ways to go there.
But it seems that everybody learns. You see the Roush cars have been pretty good all year, and right now they're the best cars, I think. They're handling great. So we can hit on some things hopefully here and take that and maybe be able to race with those guys before the year's done
Q. (No microphone).
KASEY KAHNE: I think it's just humbling in the sport, especially, for Kyle Busch. We had it as far as four races we ran really strong for four races, then kind of fell back to our 8th to 15th place right in there. So it wasn't nearly as big.
But Kyle's been winning. He's been up front every race this year, and the last two has been a huge struggle. So, I mean, that's humbling. That's just the sport. That's racing. That's how quickly things can turn around.
Kyle will be one of the guys to beat again next year. But as far as the Cup, it's going to be tough for him to win it this year. With everything he's done and he's not really got a great shot at winning the Cup now.
So it's difficult, I think, but you need the momentum. You need the I think the biggest thing is to get it and to keep it for a while. If you make a mistake, okay. You finished tenth. You didn't finish 30th. So once we get to that stage, I'll feel like Gillette-Evernham has come a long ways.
Q. Obviously, we were talking earlier that you did so good in may here. We had a chance to go so well. When you come back to test in almost October, do you have a set list of goals that you're looking for or do you have an open sheet of paper? Just kind of curious how your team approaches these tests?
KASEY KAHNE: We'll start today exactly how we finished the Coke 600. We'll start that way with two cars. Then Kenny Francis has so many great ideas and he works hard to come up with things, so do the engineers at Gillette-Evernham. So they have a list of things that we'll try in the next few days. If it works, we'll go to the next step. If it doesn't, we'll try something different.
Really, I just drive. Give them feedback. I know this track. I know it really well and how you need to get around it and how your car needs to feel. We'll work on getting that feeling. So hopefully we can do it.
Q. What about this racetrack do you think fits your driving style the best?
KASEY KAHNE: I think the mile and a half, the speed, moving high and low and just kind of how sensitive it is to missing your line by just a little bit or not slowing down quite enough and getting to the white line throughout the race. Just doing different things.
I think it's one of those deals that, you know, this track's to me, it's a real sensitive track on how far you miss your line by. If you're hitting things right, to me, it's a fun racetrack. It's a track we run well at. So, hopefully, we can keep running well here for a long time. Maybe even win the Bank of America 500 on October 11th.
THE MODERATOR: Just a rehash of statistics here: He won the 2006 Coca-Cola 600, the 2008 Coca-Cola 600, the 2006 Bank of America 500. And probably one of the best stories of the year this past may is when he got voted into the All-Star race on a fan vote, and then came out and won that race.
So, KASEY, we wish you all the luck here at Lowe's, also at Kansas and the rest of the season. We appreciate you coming by.
KASEY KAHNE: Thank you.
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