NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Chevy Rock & Roll 400
Topics: Chevy Rock & Roll 400
September 7, 2008
KERRY THARP: We've got two of our competitors who certainly gave it their all to try to get in the 2008 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field. 13th right now in points is Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Budweisser Dodge, and 14th place right now is is David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 AAA Ford.
Kasey, you certainly made a gallant effort. I know you feel like you laid it all on the table. Your thoughts?
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, I felt like I drove everything I could all day. Tried to take chances. Tried to be smart at the same time and get what we could get. Four tires out of the track, push getting in, slide the back getting off, and then you'd slide in and slide off and it was kind of all over but we got the car better.
Kenny made some good calls for where it was and we improved it a little bit, and then just track position hurt us all day. I was trapped in between a couple Roush cars on pit road and it didn't matter where I came in, I was trapped. So it was a long day in the pits. We came out close to last about every single time it seemed like. At least we came out after both of those two cars every time.
That helped but either way we were not going to beat Clint so, good try and that was it.
KERRY THARP: Your thoughts, any period of time during the race when you had the 12th in your sights; your thoughts.
DAVID RAGAN: I felt like we started the race off pretty good and sometime after that third stop, we just seemed to lose it. You know, brought out that caution and got up too high and slapped the wall, kind of a freak incident. Felt like I had a right rear going down. We pitted and everything was fine there, and I thought we still had a shot to get a Top-10 or Top 15 finish.
After five or ten laps on a run, we just went downhill. The car was wicked loose and barely able to drive without wrecking. So just kind of a long, frustrating day, and like Kasey said back there in the back, poor track position, you couldn't pass and just couldn't go anywhere.
KERRY THARP: We'll take some questions now for Kasey and David.
Q. How much confidence do you take away from the tremendous improvement that you've had in results this season and moving up big in the points and the respect of your competitors.
DAVID RAGAN: Well, regardless of how we ended up today, I told everyone before the race, you know, whether we made the Chase or not, it wasn't going to be solely on the Richmond race.
I can look back at three or four races earlier in the year where we didn't do a good job and resulted in the loss of a few points and also some races where we ran good and everything was fine. So everything is easier the second time around.
Our speed has been in the race cars; it's just been a matter of making good decisions on Saturday and Sunday. We still have ten more races to go and it certainly would be a disappointment if this was Homestead and this was it. But we have chances to get more points and get in the Top-5 for next year.
Q. Just wanted to ask you about about starting the race at the beginning -- all of the guys who you were chasing right around you, were you cognizant of where they were, and did they inform you as to where your position was in the points, at one point where you climbed ahead of Clint?
DAVID RAGAN: No, I never heard anything on the radio all day about where the guys were running. Basically we had our hands full trying to make adjustments on the car and making sure the fenders were not running and listening to where the leaders were at and try not to go a lap down. We had our hands full today.
Bottom line is I was driving as hard as I could to get to the next spot or the next position. You never know what may be around the next corner. So no, I never heard anything throughout the day from Jimmie or the spotter on where everyone else was running but when they are in front of you, you can look at them and see where you're at.
Q. What happened on the spin when you and Kenseth spun off; was there something on the track or do you know what happened?
DAVID RAGAN: I just got really loose into turn one and chased up the hill and looked like Matt was just right tucked up underneath me and as I was spinning around, he actually -- I think he turned my left rung and kind of straightened me back up which hurt him but allowed me to keep on going and not hit so hard. I haven't seen a replay of it, but I told the guys that maybe we had a tire going down or seemed like something just happened pretty abruptly; that our car had not had that characteristic all weekend and it had that the rest of the race.
So that's something we'll have to diagnose when we get back to the shop.
Q. Can you tell me about what happened -- after he ran into you, seemed like things went south --
DAVID RAGAN: When the 1 got into me? Bottom line is Clint was on the bottom and just punted the 01 and shot the 01 up the track. I was on his right rear quarter panel and ran right into him. Thought I might have had Clint boxed in where I could have got around the 01 and maybe put a car between us, but he did what he had to do. He just gave the 01 a shot and I happened to be on the outside of him.
Q. When you were boxed in on your pit box, did it seem to you and Kenny that that was intentional, or are you planning to do anything as far as speaking to NASCAR about -- (static) --
KASEY KAHNE: No, I don't know if it was or not. It's hard to say. They picked on us for a reason, I know that much. I know the first one I stopped short and was pointed out and 38 stopped as far out of his box as he could and from there it was just hard to get track position, so we were trying to come back every time, and after that I don't know if it was or not. They made it tough on me, and I think it was probably tough on McMurray get to go his also. So if anything I would just say it was the 38 having to struggle having to get in and out of his pit stall really than trying to block us.
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