NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: LifeLock 400
Topics: LifeLock 400
June 15, 2008
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by today's second-place finisher Kasey Kahne and third-place finisher, Matt Kenseth.
Kasey, tell us a little bit about your run and then we'll get to Matt.
KASEY KAHNE: We had a really loose race car, sideways, all day, entry, middle exit, and just kept trying to fix and get it better and we never really did. We got it better at the end.
But that final run was the best it had been. It was still a 10th to 12th place car. So we took fuel as late as we could under that caution because of all of the green flag runs today we just kept taking fuel, and just saved. I saved for 42 laps right there, and I never ran out coming into the pits. We had enough to finish, dead green, and I guess it's just a good finish. It's kind of weird to be up here but it's a good finish for what we had.
THE MODERATOR: Matt, you want to tell us about your run?
MATT KENSETH: Ours was good. Our car was pretty decent all day. I mean it felt like we were a little off, but our speed was really good all day. I thought it was a really fun race and exciting three-wide racing and four-wide racing. And I thought the track was reeling challenging today, so that was a good time.
We just got beat on the pit deal again, and we had an official in front of our car that cost us two spots leaving the pits and that really hurt us, and then we had a little miscue on our tire stop and had a hurt us, too.
Didn't quite work out, and we're just not on exactly the right place to capitalize on it.
Q. Matt, on the pit road deal, you seemed to think that maybe NASCAR could have put you back up in the lead, did you understand why they didn't do that?
MATT KENSETH: I guess I knew they wouldn't, but I've seen them before in cases where officials made a mistake and they have corrected it -- I can't remember if it was Carl somewhere or in a Nationwide Series race where the official called something wrong and they put him back. You always hope for that possibility but the official just stopped and was in front of the car, and it was either run over and hurt him or get the heck out of the way. And it was when Jimmie and the 77 stayed out, but it would have put us two cars farther forward. And fresh car on fresh tires, the way the caution fell it might not have made a difference, but might have. Might have had us in front of the 83.
Q. You and other drivers seem to be expressing displeasure with the first four cars going down the apron to pass the pace car --
MATT KENSETH: Nothing wrong with going down the apron. It's everybody's idea to save fuel, and I didn't think you could pass a pace car. But the leader would stand on the gas and go ten car lengths of the pace car and shut the motor off and call us back and not maintain a cautious pace and took off the apron. And I thought it was confusing and I had to stay closed up, but obviously I would be trying to do the same thing. I remember when Greg was not going fast enough across the line at Kansas, where he had somebody passing the pace car by ten car lengths behind him and back and forth, so I was just trying it figure out, whatever it is. And if it's okay to do that, I guess it's good to know you -- don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about what they did.
KASEY KAHNE: I didn't think you could do that, but I was capping.
MATT KENSETH: I didn't know you could ever do that, either, you know.
Q. Kyle Petty on the broadcast said next time he figures you would just throw the official up on your hood and go. Talk about that whole incident, would you please.
MATT KENSETH: Well, maybe would have, but he was too big, thought he would do damage to the fender -- just kidding.
No, I mean, I could never run somebody over and hurt them, but he saw my guys were all coming back, and usually when they walk out there they will go all the way to the right side but if he would have kept walking, I would have eased on out there. But the problem was with guys crossing this way, and he was going this way and he stopped right in front of my right front headlight.
So I think that if they can see how long -- you know, I don't know, it's hard to fix every call. There's all kinds of balls and strikes called, that's all part of it, but wish he would have been paying a little more attention there because track position is still important.
Q. This is where you guys started your charge in 2005 toward the Chase, and you now have five Top-10s in a row, do. You feel like you're even ahead of where you were three years ago and you're in good position to make it again this year?
MATT KENSETH: You know, I don't know, I definitely feel like we're getting better. We had a string of miserable finishes there a couple months ago, and I think we had three or four that was 38th or worse, and so things have definitely been on the upswing.
We've been pretty good, last week I think is the best I've ever ran at Pocono, speed and competitiveness. And here I think we had a car to beat the 83 at times, but overall we had the car to beat but could not quite get it done at the end. And if you have a fast car every week and are fast and competitive and can run in the Top-5 and Top-10, you can hopefully gather your points and win some races sooner or later hopefully.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.
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