TOYOTA NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Notes & Quotes Darlington Raceway — Kasey Kahne

KASEY KAHNE, No. 18 Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports What differences do you see in Darlington Raceway since the last time you raced in a truck? “It was a lot different as far as the way the truck drives with kind of what you’re looking for as a driver. I remember in ’04 though how the truck felt throughout practice and throughout the race and it’s a little bit different today. I don’t have a ton of experience in these things so I try to make as many laps as we could earlier in race trim and just try to get used to being behind trucks and seeing where I would get worse or where I would get better. That type of thing. I felt like the truck was really good. Kyle (Busch, team owner) has a great team — a great group of guys that work for him and work on the trucks to prepare them. It felt awesome. I look forward to qualifying and look forward to the race tonight. We should have an awesome Toyota Tundra and see how it all turns out.”

Do you enjoy racing in the Camping World Truck Series? “Yeah. I enjoy the Truck Series and I haven’t raced it a whole lot. I really like it. In Pocono, we didn’t win, but we were close. We led laps and it just didn’t work out for us at the end. It’s just nice and it’s great when you can drive good trucks and be competitive. That’s what KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) — that’s what they do, they put great trucks on the track. Just happy to be here — it’s our (Sprint Cup Series) off weekend. But to come down for a one-day race at Darlington –it’s one of my favorite race tracks that we go to throughout the season. I always look forward to coming here so it’s just a nice Saturday afternoon to come down and have some fun.”

How do you balance urgency and patience in tonight’s race? “This track can be tough to pass. You can get pretty aero tight here. These trucks are aero sensitive so you need track position and it will be very key. Keeping that track position and when you do get battling with somebody, always have to remember where you’re at and it can bite you really quick. This place has bit me plenty of times and you just have to stay focused and be aware of that. But 147 laps is going to go by quick so we need to always be after it the entire race.”
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What will it be like to race against so many drivers who have never raced at Darlington? “It’s tough. I remember the first time that I came here in Nationwide. I think we ran 18th in that first year I drove. It was just new to me all day long — everything that got thrown at me throughout the race. The restarts, the way that cars can get a run on you if you get battling with another car or truck — it’s something that they’ll be learning all day and I saw a few of those guys that don’t have any laps here were actually really good in practice. They were picking it up quick. It’s pretty neat to see, but throughout the race they’re going to be learning nonstop. I still learn every time I come here and I’ve raced here probably 4,000 miles here or something. It’s a tough track and you always have to remember that it can get you. There’s just little spots on this track where your car can jump out, you can get loose — tight, hit the wall off two — anywhere on the corner you can run into the wall. It’s a demanding and pretty neat track.”

What do you do to relax? “I think the more you race, the more relaxed you get with it. There’s days when you’re definitely not really relaxed, but when things are going good you’re pretty relaxed going to the shop, spending time during the week with the guys or Kenny Francis (Red Bull crew chief) or looking into the upcoming races. Working on my sprint car stuff and just being a par t of being at the sprint car shop and the guys that we work with there. I think racing is about as relaxed as I get. It’s where I feel the most comfortable and definitely not on the track is where I’m the most relaxed. Everything kind of leading up to that these days — I’m pretty comfortable with everything. When you do get to go on vacation — maybe go to the Bahamas or somewhere where it’s hot and you can just sit out and relax. That’s about all I do. I don’t do a whole lot more.”

Do you have plans to run more truck races this year? “Not as of right now. I’d like to and Kyle (Busch, team owner) said I could. I think it just depends on if we can get some money and find some sponsors maybe for one or two or three more races, something like that at some of the races that Kyle’s not running or he’s not going to run. We’re going to look for that and probably try to do a few more, but as of right now this is the only one.”

Does it feel unusual to compete in a one-day show? “It feels really unusual. Just being at Darlington — everything is really relaxed today. It’s just different than the normal weekends here when we’ve been here in the past. It’s really nice. I got here late last night and just kind of been hanging out. Today will be a pretty good day — qualify, race — everything is really quick and right in a row. Probably be out of here by 7:30 or so. It’s kind of a different event and I kind of feel like I’m back racing a sprint car or something. Just kind of a one-day deal and it’s nice to do that once in a while and I think it’s a good show.”

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