NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: AAA Texas 500
Topics: AAA Texas 500
November 6, 2011
FORT WORTH, TEXAS
THE MODERATOR: We're joined in the media center by tonight's third-place finisher, Kasey Kahne.
Kasey, you had a strong run tonight. Talk about tonight's race.
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, we had a really good Red Bull Toyota. Moved up right away at the start at that long run. Then we just kind of stayed there from about fifth to seventh, trying to get a little bit more speed. The car was just a little bit too loose to get much further than that.
We pitted. The caution came out. Ended up in the front. Then we were strong. We were battling there with Tony, who I felt was definitely the best car throughout the whole race. We battled with him for a while. Took four, got back to eighth, came back to third.
It was a good run. Track position was a big deal. Even on those long runs, it would get spread out. The guy out front could make up some ground. You needed to be as close to the front as possible.
The whole team did a good job. We were pretty close.
I watched Tony and Carl. They're going for it. Tony raced me as hard as he ever raced me. I had to race as hard as I could. They're trying to get as many points as they can. It's intense trying to win these races right now. It's super close.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Certainly Tony has been strong here on the mile-and-a-half's. What do you see out of him, that team, during the Chase where things picked up?
KASEY KAHNE: Well, I mean, they have great cars, great engines. It's a great organization over there. I think what they got in the last little while is confidence. Tony knows he's the fastest guy here. His crew's behind him. They're doing everything right.
The problem is they're going against Carl, who also think he's the fastest guy here. It's going to be good. It's going to be really good all the way up till the end, especially if nobody has issues car-wise or makes a mistake, crash, get caught up in someone else's deal. It's going to be fun to watch.
Q. What about you guys? A lot of guys wrote you off.
KASEY KAHNE: Last week those guys wrecked in front of us. Went four laps down. The Red Bull team just keeps doing a good job. They're working hard. It's pretty impressive for a lot of them not knowing their future, not knowing what's going on there, if there will be a two-car team or one-car team to keep putting the cars on the track like they are.
I'm happy to come to the track and drive and work with Kenny Francis and the whole team.
Q. Did y'all have any tire trouble?
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, we didn't have any. Kenny thought the left sides were tearing up pretty good, so we took four. I think seven cars in front of us, Carl and Tony, four or five others, took two. We came out eighth just because of that. Seemed like two tires were pretty good. Wasn't a huge advantage to have four like I thought it might be.
Q. Kasey, don't mean to put you on the spot, but who you putting your money on over the next two weeks?
KASEY KAHNE: Well, I think I kind of answered that a minute ago. I said Tony thinks he's the guy right now. The guy he's going against think he's the guy. It's going to be a battle to the end.
Truthfully I have no idea. I know both of them have a lot of confidence and have been strong. It will be interesting. I wish I was in the Chase. But not being in the Chase, it's pretty fun to sit there and watch. I'm excited to watch all the way through the finals at Homestead.
Q. How much are you looking forward to taking the information you got here with you over to Hendrick Motorsports next season?
KASEY KAHNE: Well, I think what Kenny Francis does, kind of the way we do things might be a little bit different than Hendrick. The way they do things is really positive, too.
It will be fun to put it all together. There's tracks where they beat us bad and there's tracks where we run pretty well. Hopefully we can all put it together and make some gains, make Hendrick Motorsports a little bit stronger than it already is.
THE MODERATOR: Kasey, thank you.
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