NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: STP 400
Topics: STP 400
April 21, 2013
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS
KRISTI KING: Now joining us is Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance 85th Anniversary Chevrolet, who finished second in today's STP 400. Kasey now sits second in the points standings behind Jimmie, 37 points behind. Kasey, talk about your run out there today.
KASEY KAHNE: I felt really good. I thought we were pretty decent yesterday in practice, so today we started 28th and just had to really take our time. I felt the cars were really edgy at the start and took a while. But as the race went on we made some good adjustments, the track rubbered in pretty nicely and we made our way up to the front. It was a good race for us. We were very close at the end battling with Matt. Felt like Vegas all over again, just kind of felt like really similar to that in how I could catch him but couldn't really do anything once I got close. It made my car a little bit looser. So tried a few things there, and he kind of blocked those spots and went those directions and gained the speed that I was, and then we were even again. It was tough, but we still had a great race. My team is doing an awesome job. It has be a lot of fun driving the cars and thanks to Farmers and Hendrick Motorsports for the great cars and the preparation each week.
Q. Start of the weekend and most of yesterday until I think happy hour, you guys, all four of the Hendrick cars, were slow. Were you surprised that you made it all the way up after starting off the weekend so poorly, and did you have to throw wholesale adjustments at the car to get it to where you were competitive for the victory?
KASEY KAHNE: Well, that was interesting because I felt good right when practice started. The times didn't really show it. But I felt good, and then in qualifying the car felt completely different than what it had all of practice prior to that, and we qualified really slow. And then yesterday I felt really good again.
So we actually didn't make a lot of changes. We made a lot of little stuff here and there to try to figure out the balance, and when the race started today I thought we were really close. Today we made just small adjustments throughout the race.
I felt like our speed was there all weekend but for some reason it didn't show, but I felt like the speed in the car was there. I was happy with mine. Listening to Jimmie and Jeff, they weren't yesterday, and today Jimmie was really fast, which I knew he would be and Jeff didn't have the speed I thought he would have, and Dale was right there, as well. I was a bit surprised by some of that. But for our car I thought we were pretty close all weekend long.
Q. Kasey, I guess following up on how the Hendrick cars were all pretty slow and you rebounded today, does that show how you guys have that championship quality that when you guys are behind you guys can still put your heads together and get there?
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, I think so. I think we all met yesterday and talked about things and things that worked and things that didn't work. Some of us had more to talk about than others, so it was a really good debrief, and I think all of us took that and made the proper adjustments from there. It was a good team effort this weekend, and so far we've been able to run pretty strong, the 5 team at a lot of the tracks from Bristol to Martinsville to Vegas and here and things. I feel like we have a great team and we're in a really good spot right now.
Q. The track today, was it the same, was it different from last October? If it was different, what was the difference?
KASEY KAHNE: I felt like it was really similar. When the race went green my car was edgy. If I over drove the entry it was super easy to get loose and the same on exit of the corner and the center of the corner depending on how hard you were pushing the pedals, and as the race went it rubbered in and you got more grip, but it was still slippery, and I think that's just the tire. I'm pretty sure we're racing on the same tire as we did the first race here, and it's a hard tire in order to be durable enough to run the speeds we are running, and until we get to soften that tire up a little bit to where we have some more grip, I think it'll just be edgy for a while. That's just what it is.
Q. Kasey, were you waiting until the last lap? That restart you had a few laps to maybe give it a go. I wondered were you waiting until the end of the race, the last lap or so? If you had a move were you waiting until then?
KASEY KAHNE: You know, there was 40 to go I think on that restart, and I felt like I'm restarting fourth, I need to get to third, to second and to first as quickly as I possibly can, and I was able to get by Jimmie and then soon as I got to Truex I just got to the outside of him I went around him before he could block that move or anything, and then Kenseth was already gone. By the time I got to him it was late in the race. That's not necessarily what I wanted. I hoped I could get there sooner when the tires were fresher and I had more overall grip. When I got to him I was sliding around a lot and so was he but it was hard to pass at that point in time kind of with this combination we've got of the tire and the track and the new surface. It's really nice, but still really fast for our cars.
KRISTI KING: Kasey, congratulations on your reason today. Thank you for your time.
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