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Kasey Kahne Quotes from Chicagoland Speedway

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(No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) Note: Kahne tested at Chicagoland Speedway June 21 in preparation for the July 10 USG SHEETROCK Nextel Cup Series race. Official speeds were not released. How has the track held up? "It's fast. We were fast — just as fast as I remember last year. I know last year the grooves started moving up and make for really good racing, in both the Busch and Cup races. It'll be like that again this year. It's just a really fun track to come to. But, right now the track is good right on the bottom and there's a lot of grip. What are some of the challenges at Chicago? "It's a pretty tough track, I mean, all the tracks are. You've got to figure out how to go fast for 500 miles or 400 miles or whatever it is. There's so much competition in the NASCAR Cup series it makes it tough to win races and finish up front every weekend. When we come here we'll be prepared and do everything we can to win the race." On new qualifying procedures this year: "I didn't care for it too much because it gives you so much time off. If you're not racing a Busch car on Saturday you run 30-40 seconds of two laps or one lap, and you're done for the day unless you have media stuff or different things to do. I haven't cared for it at all. I'd much rather be on the track practicing and getting four hours of practice and qualifying and then race. That's the way it used to be. I liked that way the best. With the new rule I'm looking at doing some new things like golfing. So, there's plenty of time to go out and golf or sleep in. I get way more sleep on an impound race weekend than I do during the whole week before that. In three nights, I get more sleep than I do in the other four nights of the week. It's definitely pretty boring the way that they have it now." On the top-35 qualifying rule: "I think that seems like it worked out well so far this year. The teams that show up and race each week and are in that top 35, they're definitely in the race, and I think they should be. They put a big effort in, and do a lot to be in there. So, I think that's a pretty good rule." Goals for the team: "It all changes. They've changed the Silver Crown schedule around and are building new cars now. I don't know if I really want to be part of that with the way they build those cars and the tracks that they take them to. So, I don't know what's going to happen with that. Definitely, in sprint cars I want to have an Outlaw team and that's something there in the future and be able to run up front." What do you need to do to get into the Chase this year? "We need to test. We need to build new cars. We need to mess with bodies, mess with aerodynamics and figure out what we need each week, what we need in traffic. That's our biggest fault right now is traffic. When it's really sunny out and hot we struggle the most. If we can figure out how to go fast in both of those conditions, we'll be right back in the middle of it." Thoughts on Chase: "I liked it last year. We missed it by just 20-25 points, and we could have made it so easy. As easily as we missed it, we could've made it. I thought it was a good deal. It makes for an exciting last 10 races all the way down to the end it's still pretty close and competitive. Definitely, it'll be just as good this year with the guys that have been running up front this year. It's a neat way to do it. I think it brings a little bit of a playoff atmosphere to the sport. It seems like that's pretty cool." Can Erin Crocker make the same impact as Danica Patrick: "I would certainly hope so. I would hope that she can figure these cars out and figure out the pavement. She doesn't have a whole lot of experience on it. And Ray's trying to get her the experience that he can in ARCA and some Busch races. And she's running my Silver Crown car on pavement five times. So, for as bad as she wants to race, and the job that she did when she raced on the dirt, I definitely think that she can do a lot in racing. She just has to get the experience." How closely do you work with her? "She drives my Silver Crown car. I went to her tests with her. I tried to help her in her test, just to get the cars right and get a certain feeling out of it. If she has any questions, I try to answer them." On the cheers of the crowd when you returned to the track during the race at Chicago: "We might be a fan favorite. Who knows? That was a pretty wild day, the way that all turned out. There were a lot of fines given and things that went on. So, I don't want that to happen again, but definitely we need to come out to this track and run good and try to win the race. If we could do that then it would definitely be a big boost for our whole Evernham Motorsports team." Were you surprised that your first win came on a short track? "It was a huge surprise. (Richmond) and Sears Point were my worst two tracks last year. To win Richmond this year was a total surprise. I've always enjoyed short tracks. That's what I raced before I got into NASCAR. So, I knew that we could do it, it was just a matter of having everything go our way and that day it did." On preparation for Sonoma this weekend: "We tested at Sonoma. It went really well. We learned a lot there. I was much better than I was last year, just with the driving and the course itself. I'm really looking forward to going back. It should be a lot of fun. It's a track that's not really as aerodynamic as it is mechanical. We should have a good of shot as anybody there. Is it fun to break up the oval racing with a road course? "Yeah, I enjoy it. I like to go do a road course here and there, and a short track here and there. That's a lot of fun to be able to just get away from some of these tracks that we hit a lot." What are some of the challenges at Sonoma? "The whole course is a challenge. The cars are always so close together. The competition is close. The corners are sharp, they're slick. You can overdrive them braking or shifting. And you can easily screw up and get off course. So, there's a lot to it, but it's a lot of fun when you can do it right."

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