Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chicagoland: Post-Race Quotes

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
Finished 3rd

"We had a good Budweiser Dodge tonight. We had to battle all night there at the end with Jeff (Gordon) having fresh tires at the end of the race. I wanted to hang on for all we had, we ended up third and it ended up being a good run for us tonight. I wasn't really very close to the 5, but I cleared the 24 and then he charged back. I got through (Turns) 1 and 2 better than he did, but he had tires and we didn't. I thought we did a really good job. We held our own and got a great finish. Those restarts were tough, a lot of tough competition. We had to battle really hard.

"We've been working really well together, our whole Budweiser Dodge team. Races like these, nights like this where you can get those (drivers) points and try to stay in that top-12, that's what it's all about and making the Chase. The guys had good stops all night. They've been on a roll with that. The car was good from the drop of the green (flag). We made some adjustments trying to keep up and make it better. Those restarts at the end were tough; there were a lot of good cars. I think we got as far back as sixth on the restarts and worked back to second and then third with Jeff (Gordon).

"I fought hard against Jeff there at the end. I wanted to hold him off. I felt like were better than him all night. He had some (fresh) tires there (at the end) and was better than us and ended up beating us. We battled hard. It was a good night."

HOW MUCH DID THE NEW R6 ENGINE HELP TONIGHT? "Well, the engine, I mean, we got to compare it to the best tonight. We raced with Hendricks and the Gibbs, the 11, throughout the race. Every restart, every pass for position was against one of those guys. We still have some work to do. I think it was decent, but we still have some work to do with those guys. My car handled great, you know, so I was happy about that.

"The restarts, I like it. I still think it's a great change that NASCAR did. I lost some and I made some again. Same every week. I lose three of the restarts and win three of the restarts. I don't know, 50% is not too bad."

IT SEEMED LIKE MOST OF THE RACE EVERYONE WAS ON CRUISE CONTROL; THEN EVERYONE WENT NUTS ON RESTART? "Well, I think late in the race one guy makes one guy mad and it causes a reaction from that guy. Then they get into another car. Then another guy is smoking another guy sideways. Next thing you know, you have 10 guys that are fuming. You never know what's gonna happen. Some guys had tires, other guys didn't, so the speed was way different. I think it just created a lot of kind of chaos back on those restarts. T hat's excitement for the fans and kind of craziness for the drivers."

HOW MUCH OF THE RACING TONIGHT WAS DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE TRACK HAS WEATHERED IN? "To me, it was similar to what it was last year, the last few years here. It's been wide. The pavement has been pretty white, pretty gray like it was. It gets rubbered up quick. You can race kind of all over the racetrack. To me, it was similar. We had our best car. I think I did the best job that I've done at Chicagoland Speedway. I've never raced that well here. It was a good night for us."


KENNY FRANCIS (Crew Chief, No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
"The Budweiser Dodge ran well all night. We've struggled here at Chicago in the past. To have a car that good and run up front all night with our Dodge, I couldn't be prouder of our guys and Kasey for coming home third. We had a really good car all night. The fuel mileage was good. It all worked out good. I wish we could have beaten the 24 and 5 there, but it was a good race for us, a good points race for us."


AJ ALLMENDINGER (No. 44 Hunt Brothers Pizza Dodge Charger)
Finished 13th

"It was a good day for our Hunt Brothers Pizza Dodge. We didn't start off very well. We were a little bit off in practice yesterday and didn't really know which way the track was going to go tonight. We started off way too tight and basically from there on, it was a fight of being too loose and too tight. It seems like with our cars, we don't start the first 10 laps really good. We were just trying to fight back and forth to stay up with the guys who were better on the restarts. We fought hard all night. From where we were in practice yesterday, to get a 13th-place finish is awesome."

HOW CRAZY WERE THE RESTARTS? "I hope fans like it because it's nuts inside the car. We restarted in about 16th and all I saw was the leaders starting to wreck and bouncing off the wall. That's part of it. It makes it exciting for the fans. It's definitely fun in the car, but it's hectic."


ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Insignia Dodge Charger)
Finished 27th
"I'm pretty happy to be heading into the off week. We never really got our car where we wanted it tonight -- it was loose in and off the corner and tight in the center. We just never really found the right adjustment to hook up the car. It was a frustrating night, but our guys worked hard and now they all get to enjoy a week at home before heading to Indy."

Credit: Dodge Motorsports

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