THE MODERATOR: We have our race runner-up, our second-place finisher, Kasey Kahne. With this win today, it’s his 11th top-10 finish. Right now he is 11th in points, but he’s the number one person competitor as it pertains to the wildcard berth.
Kasey, big performance for you here today. You’re probably going to look back on this day here and say this was a good showing for you. Talk about it.
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, we had a great car. Kenny Francis and Keith did an awesome job to get it to go through the corners as quickly as it did. The Hendrick power is something else here on these long straightaways. I just felt really good with the whole car, the Farmers Insurance Chevrolet.
I made a mistake on pit road there, slid too far and slid over the hose. It cost us a lot of time on the racetrack and a couple positions. I was pretty frustrated with myself over that. Can’t make those mistakes. But the car was really solid.
Jeff got a little bit better restart, got in front of me getting into turn one when the field wrecked in front of us, and he won the race, we were second.
It was a solid day for us car-wise. The team did a great job. I wish I would have stepped up a little bit more and done a better job in the pits and not given up all those spots. But it is what it is now. Just got to get better from that.
I felt really good on the racetrack. Jimmie was leading. We were behind. We were running as fast or faster a lot of the race as he was. I was really happy with my car and the performance. I felt we were the best car.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Kasey Kahne.
Q. Kasey, was chaos on that last restart inevitable? Were you expecting something like that?
KASEY KAHNE: Well, I wasn’t really expecting it, the guys up front. You got Jimmie, Matt, I can’t remember who was in the second row, Greg and someone else. Yeah, Keselowski.
It’s tough. You know, turn one at Pocono, you go for that corner pretty hard. I actually got a pretty decent start. Shot in there pretty good, was just lucky I was on the bottom or I would have been in that whole mess.
It worked out good for us. Passed those five cars, came out of the corner in second spot, ended up there. It was good. The timing was perfect.
I got a flat right rear tire during that whole deal. I think it must have been the next time around, ran over some debris, so my tire was flat. I was just hoping for the rain. When the green flag came out, I would have ducked into the pits, got tires. We would have been in the 22nd spot.
Q. I think you’re in the number one wildcard spot and Gordon is number two. Rick Hendrick said in the pre-season he was going to put all four cars in the Chase, but that didn’t seem possible. Can you talk what it looks like for Hendrick if you could come back and put all four cars in?
KASEY KAHNE: It would look really good. It would make Mr. H pretty happy. He’s been happy with the speed we’ve had all year, all the teams. He talks about Jeff every week, how fast they are, the bad luck they’ve had.
Today he escaped it. He got to the bottom, they wrecked in front of him, he won the race. Everything worked out perfect for him today. He’s back to, I guess, 12th in points or second wildcard. Now we got to watch out for them. Those guys get a little confidence, as fast as they’ve been, they can be pretty tough for each week.
But, yeah, I still feel like my car was as good as any car here. I think I had the best car here and made too many mistakes to be out front like Jimmie was. But I think, speed-wise, No. 5 was pretty quick.
Q. You’re moving into Watkins Glen, road course racing, last one of the season. How do you take these bobbles that you talk about today and move forward and put that program back together for a win or something?
KASEY KAHNE: Well, it’s been my toughest track since I came into this deal. I’ve been thinking a lot about it. We ran really well at Sonoma, Infineon. So I feel pretty good about it.
I got Jimmie and Jeff and Dale to look at their things and we can hopefully learn some things from them, look at the way that they drive the racetrack. I’ve never had that before. So that will be kind of nice to look at some of their footwork and learn from them and hopefully have our best Watkins Glen race yet. Yeah, it’s been a tough place.
After that, those tracks, they’re some of my favorites. I think we’re as good as any of the guys in the deal.
Q. Kasey, know you had some trouble with your transmission that you were discussing. How worried were you given Junior’s problems? Do you think it was a similar problem?
KASEY KAHNE: I don’t think I really had much of a problem. I think I was worried because Junior broke one or broke something with the transmission, I’m not sure what. I was struggling with mine a little bit when that happened, and after I heard it happen, so I just quit shifting for a while, and I was a lot slower.
Then Steve Letarte said it wasn’t a big deal. What happened with them was not what I feel was going on with mine. So from that point on, I focused on shifting again and didn’t even have an issue. I think I was just worrying too much more than anything. I felt really good about the speed of my car and I just started worrying about other things I didn’t need to. Once I quit worrying about it, we were flying. So I think I was just worrying.
THE MODERATOR: Kasey, congratulations on a good performance here today and getting yourself in a good spot here for the Chase now.
KASEY KAHNE: Thank you.
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