Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 10/16/14
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, met with members of the media at Martinsville Speedway and discussed the first practice session, being a championship contender and other topics.  TELL US HOW THE CAR WAS AND HOW IT WAS IN PRACTICE OUT THERE TODAY: “We just tried some things so we would have a lot of practice tomorrow so we just tried some stuff compared to where we raced in the spring to see if we could make any gains for tomorrow.   And in qualifying we were off and weren’t quite as fast as we would have liked to have been.  But it feels pretty close and the engine feels good and it’s the same car we raced and I think we ran pretty well when we were here in the spring so I think we will get it going good for tomorrow.” YOU ARE 30 POINTS BACK FROM THE CHAMPIONSHIP, HOW DO YOU RATE YOUR CHANCES? “I still think we are in it, and still think we have a shot.  We are still running strong and have made up a couple points the last couple weeks, not many, but we have made up a little bit.  So, anything can happen at Martinsville and hopefully we can put together a good race Sunday and gain a few more points and just keep doing that till the end and I don’t know if that will be enough because the guys we are racing against are pretty darn good.  So it’s going to be tough to beat them but we are going to try.” SEVERAL DRIVERS HAVE TALKED ABOUT RACING HURT.  HAS THERE BEEN ANYTIME YOU CAN REMEMBER WHEN YOU GOT REALLY BEAT UP AND JUST KIND OF BIT DOWN ON IT? “I think over the years I have had lots of sore days where you go race and you are pretty sore.  I would say back to Sprint Cars to where I would have been hurt the most and felt the worst getting into the car and it’s a struggle getting in and getting buckled in, but you get on the racetrack and you don’t even feel it.  So I had days like that, but it’s the way that things are these days with the seats and the walls, helmets, HANS Device, and all the things we have; I haven’t had near as many in my last 5 years as I have for my last 10 or 15.” HAVE YOU EVER RACED WHEN YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE? “I don’t think I ever have.  I have been pretty fortunate to get beat up but not to get too beat up to race. So I feel like I have been in a good spot and I have haven’t raced when I shouldn’t have.  I feel like when I’ve raced – I should be out there.” IS THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALIFYING MAGNIFIED HERE BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANT TO BE IN THE BACK? “Yeah, it helps a lot.  I was only in about half of the first race here and we started first and had the best pit stall and that is how I gained three or four spots every pit stop.  Just because you just maintain.  You can have a long stop, and you can do some extra things and you can still maintain where you are at.  So that one stall is really good and for the rest of them there is probably not a huge advantage but for that first stall, it’s by far the best stall here.” DO YOU PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE OTHER GUYS ARE DURING THE RACE OR DO YOU FOCUS ON WHAT YOU GUYS ARE DOING? “Yeah, I have been pretty focused on just what we have been doing lately and you know who you are racing with and if it’s somewhat the same guys each week but I saw Jimmie (Johnson) spin last week….well, I didn’t see him spin, I saw his car was damaged.  I saw Kyle Busch do that, and throughout I saw a few guys wreck or something but I didn’t actually keep track of where the guys were that I am racing for the points are.  Until I saw (Greg) Biffle hit the wall and I knew that wasn’t good for his day as far as our points were going you know, since we were pretty close in points….myself and Greg.   I don’t know, I think it’s just hard enough to win and get up front than to worry about where guys are that you are racing for 4th or 5th, or 1st or 2nd in points.  You just have to focus on your race and whatever you get out of that and then you will find out after it’s over.” HOW DOES IT FEEL TO SERIOUSLY BE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT FOR THE FIRST TIME WITH FOUR RACES TO GO? “It feels good, but I wish I was closer.  You know, I wish we hadn’t given up some of the points that we have but we have also had a pretty decent Chase and we have some really good tracks to go so I like being in that top-5 and kind of in that mix.  You know, we are on the outside but we definitely still have a shot.” ARE YOU FEELING ANY PRESSURE? WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE FOR YOU? “Oh no, I don’t feel any pressure.  I am going to run 5th, 6th, 4th…not a lot of pressure to that.  I would like to have a lot of pressure and be battling with Jimmie and Brad but as of right now we are just out there racing as hard as we can.” IS THERE SOME PROGRESS BEING MADE BY OTHER DRIVERS HERE AT MARTINSVILLE ON JIMMIE JOHNSON? “I would imagine that everybody is working on beating those guys.  I know I have and Jeff (Gordon) has always been really good here.  And it was Jeff or Jimmie’s race the first race and it wasn’t even close.  Those two were, by far, better than the rest of the field and they got wiped out so it was one of them that would have won the first race here for sure and other guy’s got lucky with their results because of that. But I would say that they are still the favorite.  Jeff, Jimmie, and Denny; they just always run good here.”

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