Track Talk: What drivers are saying at Kansas Speedway

Johnson and crew chief have a lot on their mind this weekend.
Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

With only seven races left in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season, drivers hit the track on Friday to prepare for the Hollywood Casino 400. Between practice and qualifying sessions drivers met with members of the media to discuss their season thus far, and what they expect this weekend at Kansas Speedway.

Here’s what they were talking about:

Pole-sitter Greg Biffle:
“It was a really good lap for the Sherwin-Williams Ford, But I have to talk about how slow we were when we unloaded today and the job the team did to get in a position to be sitting here. We were 35th or so when we unloaded the car. That says so much about this team that we started there and ended up here on the pole. We didn’t lose our patience, focus or confidence. We kept making changes and working with the car and we went from there to being the fastest car.”
Carl Edwards in regards to his qualifying run:
“This is I think the best we have every qualified here so I am not going to act like I am frustrated about it. I would obviously like to be on the pole but I didn’t think we would be this good coming out of practice. We picked up four-tenths or something like that. It was a big pickup for us. I am proud of our qualifying effort and I am proud that we have an all-Ford front row. There is a lot of pride in that for our guys at the shop.”
Jimmie Johnson in regards to the atmosphere at day races vs night races as Kansas Speedway hosts its first night race this weekend for the ARCA Series:
“It’s more entertaining for a couple of reasons, speeds are up, people are used to a night-race format especially the hardcore racers that grew up racing at short tracks or go to short tracks and watching. Another component that I like is the area you need to focus on is lit, the racing surface with the race cars is lit and it just makes things look a little bit cooler if you will. It’s tough from a competitors standpoint to practice in the day like they are right now and then come back and race at night but it’s the same for everyone and a challenge you just have to figure out and make the most of.”
Ryan Newman speaking about his thoughts on the Chase thus far:
I would like to hit the redo button. We started off running out of fuel finished 8th instead of 3rd then had a tire go at Loudon, should have been 9th, finished 25th and Dover was a struggle pretty much all weekend for us, you know you get one mulligan but not two and a half. I think that by no means are we out of a shot at a championship, we just have a steep uphill battle, and that I think we are still capable of overcoming. I am not going to say that we’re not but it is not going to be easy.”
Kasey Kahne’s thoughts on returning to Kansas for a second time in the season:
“It’s definitely different with the weather. We all knew coming here it was going to be kind of slippery, and it seems to be that again today. No surprise. You learn stuff since it’s been so long since we’ve been here. So, we actually are running our car a little bit different now than what we were then. Kind of like it better. It’s kind of progression. I like the car better because it’s been driving great the last four weeks because we changed some things.”
Brad Keselowski on returning to the site of his first win of 2011:
“Wow. So much has happened this year since we won at Kansas, but I don’t want the significance of that win lost in the fact that we won two more races and made the Chase. That win at Kansas was special because we knew we were doing the right things to be successful, but just didn’t get the luck needed to win. Winning at Kansas was a validation, of sorts, and it was definitely the catalyst for what we were able to accomplish as the summer months wore on. We won the race on fuel mileage, but we had a very fast car throughout the race. We ran in the top-10 most of the day. With a fast Miller Lite Dodge and good fuel mileage, I’m confident about our chances this weekend.”
For live race reports from Kansas Speedway follow Skirts and Scuffs as Summer Dreyer and Unique Hiram cover the weekend from the track.
Track Talk: What drivers are saying at Kansas Speedway Track Talk: What drivers are saying at Kansas Speedway Reviewed by Admin on Friday, October 07, 2011 Rating: 5