KASEY KAHNE LEADS THE CHARGE FOR CHEVROLET WITH SECOND PLACE FINISH
FIVE TEAM CHEVY DRIVERS END THE NIGHT IN THE TOP 10
BRISTOL, TN – August 24, 2013 – With a hard fought effort to earn back-to-back victories at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kasey Kahne, scored his fourth second-place finish of the 2013 season in his No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS in the Irwin Tools Night Race NASCAR Sprint Cup 500-lap contest at the ‘World’s Fastest Half-Mile’. Kahne, who missed taking the trip to Victory Lane by a mere 0.188 seconds, was disappointed in the result of his valiant battle with race winner, Matt Kenseth.
“I was trying to get there,” said Kahne. “I would have wrecked probably both of us. It would have just been a wreck. I just tried to pass him as clean as I could, and race him as hard as I could. I thought I had him at one point. I had a good run. I tried to slide across him, but he just kept position. We were rubbing all the way down turn four. I just didn’t clear him. I just didn’t get it done and I’m upset with myself for not figuring out how to win tonight because I clearly had a better car at the end of the race.”
Juan Pablo Montoya, who was also a strong contender in his No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS, placed third for Team Chevy, giving the bowtie brigade two of the top three finishing positions. “I’ll tell you, we had a really good car all night,” said Montoya. “We were a little tight at the start of the night and we made some good changes. The car had good speed.”
Other top finishers under the lights at Bristol were Paul Menard, No. 27 Menards/Schrock Chevy SS finished sixth, Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Axalta Coating Systems Chevrolet SS was seventh, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS, ended the day in 10th. Overall, Team Chevy posted five of the top-10 slots in the 266.5-mile race results.
Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, maintained his point lead in the current standings after being involved in a multi-car accident on lap 360. He was forced behind the wall for repairs. The team fought hard to finish the race in 36th place. Johnson continues to hold an 18 point advantage over the field.
Matt Kenseth (Toyota) was the race winner, Brian Vickers (Toyota) was second, and Joey Logano (Toyota) finished fifth, to round out the top five.
The next race on the tour is September 1st at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED SECOND
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED THIRD
KERRY THARP: Let’s roll right into our post‑race for tonight’s 53th annual Irwin Tools Night Race here at Bristol Motor Speedway. Our third‑place finisher was Juan Pablo Montoya. He drove the No. 42 target Chevrolet for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Congratulations on a very solid run. You had a contending car all night. Just talk about how things went for you and maybe what you were thinking there at the end.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I’ll tell you, we had a really good car all night. We were a little tight at the start of the night and we made some good changes. The car had good speed. I got caught speeding there with like 170 to go or something, and that kind of hurt us. But I’ll tell you the truth, I think it helped us because if it would have played right, we probably would have run out of gas. Our fuel mileage wasn’t as good as the 20.
It made it more interesting. I really had to use the brakes and really cooked the front tires there at the end, but it was fun.
KERRY THARP: And our race runner up is Kasey Kahne. He drove the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. Kasey, talk about your race out there tonight. Certainly you were giving it all you could to get past the 20, and it was a lot of give and take and certainly put on a great show tonight here for the fans at Bristol. A heck of a race down there towards the end.
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, I thought Matt did a good job of just running as hard as he could as close to the wall as possible, which helped him a lot, and then I was just trying to gain speed. I had a better car. We were on the right strategy, and I just couldn’t clear him. There was a couple shots I took, and I had to have been close, but I could feel him on the right side of my car, and I just didn’t clear him. I didn’t figure out how to get by. It’s disappointing not to win here. I thought we had the best car the last 200 laps, and it was a lot of work. We didn’t start the best, but Kenny made a lot of good calls, and our strategy was perfect at the end. It was a great night for us, good for the points and things, but yeah, I wish I could have figured out how to get by him.
Q. Kasey, you said on the TV interview, first you said I had options, and then you came back later and said you were upset with yourself for not figuring out a way to win. What options did you have?
KASEY KAHNE: Well, the only options ‑‑
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Taking him out.
Q. Which obviously would have helped Juan.
KASEY KAHNE: That’s the only option I have.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I was hoping they were going to wreck on the white flag to be honest.
KASEY KAHNE: I had already tried to clear him on a slide job type deal and he just didn’t brake and stayed in the gas and we were going to hit each other. I don’t know how all that was going to work out. I needed a win bad, but I also needed a finish, and I just didn’t do anything crazy. I just basically ran as hard as I could, tried to pass him two different times and ran on his bumper and hoped he’d screw up, and he really never did.
Q. Juan, you came back from a speeding penalty and you salvaged the day and finished third. Based on your situation is anything short of wins kind of satisfying at this stage?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It is. To be honest with you, where we are with the team and the result, if I got in, it’s pretty good. I’m still running until the end of the year with Target, and I want to make sure I can do the best for them.
Q. Kasey, I think a lot of people would probably say that you cemented your reputation tonight as a clean racer. Is it just something that you don’t believe in, to wreck somebody as revenge or take retaliation, because certainly you joked about it on Twitter that they had gotten you four times this year and you could have exacted your revenge tonight and you didn’t. Is that simply against your code?
KASEY KAHNE: Seems that way. You know, I’ve always really raced that way. I don’t have any experience doing it for one, and for two, that’s just kind of how I’ve always raced.
I think more than anything it’s just discouraging when other guys, like Matt in his case at Watkins Glen, watching that afterwards, all he had to do was lift, and he didn’t because he didn’t want to get passed from behind or whatever the situation was. It wasn’t a mistake like he got loose or anything, he just didn’t lift and wiped us out and those kind of things are discouraging because that’s not how I race, but at the same time, more times than not, Matt races me clean.
I don’t know, I just don’t ‑‑ I think at the end of the day I just don’t wreck people.
KASEY KAHNE LEADS THE CHARGE FOR CHEVROLET WITH SECOND PLACE FINISH