Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 11/20/14

LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 04: Driver Kasey Kahne speaks during the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series awards banquet during the final day of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champions Week on December 4, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

THE MODERATOR:  Kasey Kahne is now with us.  He was the top wild card contender.  He got in.

Kasey, congratulations on getting in the Chase.  Your thoughts.

KASEY KAHNE:  Well, I’m just really, really happy and excited to be able to do that.  Hendrick Motorsports, Mr. Hendrick, gives us great opportunity to win races and run up front, the way the season started, to fight back, make it into the Chase.  I feel like the last few months have been really strong, minus Atlanta.  We kind of made a mistake there with some things.  Other than that, we’ve been really good.  We’ve done a great job.

It’s great for Farmers Insurance, their first full year in the Sprint Cup Series to be in the Chase.  Really happy for them and Quaker State, Hendrickcars.com, Rockwell Tools, Chevrolet.  Everybody that’s been part of it.

I feel good.  I feel like our team has gotten better each race.  I feel like tonight our pit stops were as strong as anyone’s.  I feel like I gained every time I was on pit road.  The calls, the preparation of the car and things, I feel like we’re in a really good spot.

I’m excited to be in.  I’m relieved and happy that we made it.

THE MODERATOR:  We’ll take a couple questions.

Q.  Having all four Hendrick cars in the race, Gibbs having one fewer, what does that mean as strategy?

KASEY KAHNE:  I think it’s great for our company and everybody that works at Hendrick Motorsports, what they’ve done, accomplished to give us the cars, four of the fastest 12 cars that made the Chase this year, the most consistent.  So I feel really good about that.

I don’t think it changes a whole lot.  We all race as hard as we can.  Each one of us wants to win and run up front.  I don’t think that really changes a whole lot from what I see.  I think it’s just really, really good for Mr. Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports.

Q.  Kasey, as you were dancing between the raindrops, it was questionable whether you would complete the race, how did that affect your strategy?

KASEY KAHNE:  Well, it affected it some.  We decided to stay out.  We were running second right with Denny Hamlin.  He was the best car.  We were very close to him.

We stayed out and Denny pitted right as the green flag came out.  I led for a few laps until the guys on tires got to me and passed me.  From there, it was just trying to be the first car out of the five that stayed out.

We ended up 12th, which was really good, because those guys got to put tires on twice, we only put them on once.  Tires are a big part of this race.

I feel like we got a great car.  It worked out for us kind of.  But I think it really worked out for Hendrick Motorsports and Jeff, because the five of us staying out, Kyle being one of them, just gave Jeff the opportunity if they could get to the front.  Jeff drove up to second, so it was really good.

Q.  You’ve made the Chase before.  How do you feel this year heading into the Chase?  Do you feel you have a better chance than ever before?

 KASEY KAHNE:  I made it before and enjoyed being in it.  This year I have pretty good speed.  Each week we’re kind of in the mix.  If we can do things right…

I feel like we can pass those guys for sure and see how far we can get.

THE MODERATOR:  Kasey, thanks a lot.  Good luck in the Chase.

KASEY KAHNE:  Thank you.

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