Tag:Kasey Kahne
Posted on: June 21, 2011 3:37 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 3:45 pm

Keeping Red Bull team afloat a difficult task

By Pete Pistone

Kasey Kahne got a jump-start on the 2012 edition of NASCAR “Silly Season” about this time LAST year. 

It’s ironic that the team where Kahne landed as a holding pen before making the move to Hendrick Motorsports next season continued the 2012 proceedings this week. 

The announcement that Red Bull would withdraw its support of NASCAR racing triggered a flurry of speculations and rumors about what the Sprint Cup Series garage would look like next year. 

It was already known that Kahne was gone and holdover Brian Vickers would more than likely have to find a new address for 2012 before word leaked that the energy drink giant had decided it would no longer support an organization within NASCAR’s top division. 

After nearly five years of trying, all TRB has to show for its effort is a win with Vickers at Michigan in 2009 and a Chase berth that same season. 

A trail of failures and a merry-go-round of drivers including A.J. Allmendinger, Scott Speed and Casey Mears among others will be the legacy of the organization. 

Certainly team General manager Jay Frye is a respected figure in the NASCAR world and the organization’s lack of success has not been for lack of trying. However for a company like Red Bull who expects to be the kingpin in any sport the company chooses to participate, stumbling around since 2007 finally became unbearable. 

Red Bull’s wild success in Formula One with superstar Sebastien Vettel definitely didn’t help the NASCAR’s team cause. While Vettel is winning races on a regular basis while competing for championships on the F-1 world stage a Top 10 finish Sprint Cup Series finish has been reason to celebrate. 

Frye plans to try and keep the team’s infrastructure intact and pursue investors to pump the much-needed finances into the operation that will vanish once Red Bull ceases its involvement at season’s end. 

That won’t be an easy task. 

Frye can look no further than to Richard Petty for advice after “the King” found himself in a similar situation last year when the George Gillett House of cards finally collapsed around Richard Petty Motorsports. 

After a long and arduous journey, Petty was able to land the financial support of new investment blood in the form of Medallion Financial and DGB Investments.

But the transition did not come without casualties. RPM’s four-car operation was cut in half and hundreds of people lost their jobs including driver Elliott Sadler, who was forced to retool his career from the Sprint Cup Series to the Nationwide Series this season. 

Frye understands the nature of his quest and what he’ll face just trying to maintain the very existence of the operation. 

"We have talked to some people who have great enthusiasm about what we're doing," Frye said on a media conference call held Tuesday. "We believe we can put something together rather quickly in 30 to 45 days. But the process has just started. We had a lot of inquires yesterday. The goal is to keep the Red Bull team continuing on the path it's on." 

Should Frye be able to pull off the hunt for new money and keep the team’s doors open, he’ll next have the challenge of finding sponsors for the two-car stable. Red Bull’s involvement was the unique combination of a company that both owned and sponsored the team. 

Other more successful Sprint Cup Series teams are finding it difficult to attract the necessary sponsors to stay on track competitively. Roush Fenway Racing and even Hendrick Motorsports continue to look for dollars and have multiple race wins and championships in their portfolios to dangle in front of prospective sponsors. 

Unfortunately at this point Frye does not have that luxury and in fact is missing a key component in the sale pitch – drivers. 

There was speculation only a few weeks ago that free agent to be Clint Bowyer was ready to jump ship at Richard Childress Racing and in discussions to potentially join Red Bull. 

Obviously this week’s turn of events will end that talk and over the weekend in Michigan team owner Childress expressed confidence Bowyer and sponsor General Mills would return to his fold next season. 

Other high profile names like Juan Pablo Montoya or Mark Martin would come at a cost even a restructured TRB team probably couldn’t afford. And the biggest fish in the free agent pond - Carl Edwards - is in the middle of a bidding war between current employer Roush and Joe Gibbs Racing so the likelihood of landing him is remote at best. 

That leaves one of two options for the team if its able to continue; hiring a middle-tiered veteran or trying a more unseasoned young driver along the lines of current truck series phenom (and Red Bull-sponsored) Cole Whitt. 

But first things first. Frye and company have to pull a financial rabbit out of their hat to keep things afloat. 

It will be a challenge to be sure and one that might make landing sponsors and drivers easy by comparison.


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Posted on: June 20, 2011 12:03 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 4:57 pm

UPDATED: Red Bull to leave NASCAR at year's end

By Pete Pistone

The Associated Press reports that Red Bull plans to leave NASCAR by season's end.  The decision would potentially cease the operation of what is currently known as Team Red Bull and its two-car Sprint Cup Series organization.

Drivers Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne are TRB's pilots this year with Kahne making the move to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012.

Here is the complete AP story:

Red Bull Out of NASCAR at Season's End 

Late Monday afternoon the team released this statement:

"Red Bull Racing Team is currently seeking outside investors as we evaluate next steps in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. We are not at liberty to comment on details while negotiations are under way. Red Bull fully supports NASCAR for the remainder of the 2011 season as we fight for victories and a position in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup."

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Posted on: June 7, 2011 11:44 am
Edited on: June 7, 2011 2:48 pm

Farmer's Insurance to sponsor Kasey Kahne in 2012

Posted by Pete Pistone

From News Release

Beginning in 2012, Farmers Insurance will be the majority sponsor of the No. 5 Chevrolets fielded by Hendrick Motorsports and driven by 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner Kasey Kahne.

Covering the 2012, 2013 and 2014 racing seasons, the agreement secures primary paint schemes for Farmers Insurance in 22 Sprint Cup Series events annually and prominent brand placement in all non-primary races. A new No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet car design will be unveiled at a later date.

“Kasey Kahne is a very talented driver and a class act,” said Paul Patsis, president of Enterprise Marketing for Farmers Insurance. “He will represent Farmers well, and we are all so proud to have him driving what will be a successful partnership, both on and off the racetrack.”

In April, Los Angeles-based Farmers Insurance joined Hendrick Motorsports as a five-race primary sponsor of the No. 5 Chevrolets for 2011, debuting with a special paint scheme at the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Farmers Insurance also is an associate-level sponsor of the No. 5 team this season.

“It’s extremely positive when a company of this caliber sees the value of NASCAR and immediately wants to do more,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “Farmers will have an excellent spokesperson in Kasey, and we’re committed to putting him in a position to win races and championships. Our organization is proud to extend this partnership, and we look forward to a very bright future with everyone at Farmers.”

In addition to his 11 race wins, Kahne has earned 21 pole positions, 51 top-five finishes and 92 top-10s in Sprint Cup competition. Currently in the midst of his eighth full-time season at NASCAR’s elite level, the Enumclaw, Wash., native will join Hendrick Motorsports following the 2011 campaign.

“I’ve had a chance to meet the Farmers people, and they’re doing some exciting new things from a marketing standpoint,” said Kahne, 31, who is signed to drive for Hendrick Motorsports through 2015. “I’m looking forward to being a part of their team and helping grow the Farmers brand. To have this kind of support, and to have it come together so early, is such a boost for all of us.”

In addition to the Hendrick Motorsports relationship, the professional sports properties of Farmers Insurance include naming rights to the planned professional football stadium in Los Angeles, the PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and the ATP World Tour Farmers Classic held on the campus of UCLA. 

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Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: May 6, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: May 6, 2011 7:45 pm

Kahne speeds to Darlington pole

Posted by Pete Pistone

Kasey Kahne earned his 21st career Sprint Cup Series pole when he claimed the top spot for Saturday night's Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway:

Southern 500 Starting Line-up

Kasey Kahne won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 62nd Annual SHOWTIME Southern 500 with a lap of 27.131 seconds, 181.254 mph a new track record. The previous record was held by Jamie 

McMurray 180.37 mph (05/08/2010).

This is his 21st pole in 262 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.

This is his first pole and fifth top-10 start in 2011.

This is his fourth pole in nine races at Darlington Raceway.

Ryan Newman (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2011 and his 10th in 13 races at Darlington Raceway.

Denny Hamlin (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Darlington Raceway.  It is his third in ten races this season.

Andy Lally (45th) was the fastest qualifying rookie. 


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Posted on: May 1, 2011 12:57 am

Hamlin, Kahne post-Richmond comments

Posted by Pete Pistone

We're going to roll into our post race press conference here at Richmond. Our third-place finisher is Kasey Kahne.

Kasey, you had a fast car all weekend, fast car tonight. Congratulations. Your thoughts?

KASEY KAHNE: I felt really good about it. It was a tough track, the tire-and-track combination was slippery. Throughout the whole race we kept working on the car. The Red Bull team did a really nice job. They had great pit stops. We went the wrong way at one point, then went back. Seemed like we were getting better at the end.

The Gibbs guys were the guys to beat again here. We came to third, so that was good. I felt strong where we kind of ended up tonight, how things went, how things played out throughout the race. There's a lot of cars from that third to seventh, eighth, ninth, somewhere in there, that were probably pretty similar. You go a little bit here and there on some of the adjustment throughout the race.

Our guys did a really nice job. But we definitely need to keep working to catch up to a few of these other guys.        

KERRY THARP: We'll take questions for Kasey.          

Q. Kasey, you really needed this one. Talk about how important it is and how your knee feels.         

KASEY KAHNE: Well, I'd say it's good. We had a bad one at Martinsville, a bad one at Talladega. Just didn't run very well at Texas. So we've had three of them in a row. So we needed a good run tonight. We definitely did. We did it.         

We hung up there throughout the whole race. Had to miss that wreck. Got a little bit lucky there. Cars could have went any direction there. We snuck through barely. Got a third.          

My knee feels fine. It's actually a little bit tight, you know, a bit swelled up maybe. But other than that, it feels fine. I never thought about it once throughout the race. So it was more about the car. So if you're not thinking about it, it's obviously not hurting          

Q. Kasey, you're up front the entire race. Do you remember the last time you were up front and competitive for the entire time, what it felt like to actually be up there contending with those JGR guys?          

KASEY KAHNE: Well, I'd say at Phoenix we ran top 10 the whole race. Here we were more probably closer to fifth, sixth, right in there, third to sixth or seventh. We were a little bit better tonight for sure. But Phoenix was decent. Daytona, and Talladega at times.           

Yeah, it's kind of been a while since we had a car that could win. At points tonight I felt like we had a shot. Early on, I thought I was driving away. I saw Denny in my mirror. Made me mad for a second.           

It was a solid night for us.           

KERRY THARP: Let's hear from our race runner-up, Denny Hamlin.           

Denny, you were trying for that Trifecta this weekend. Certainly had a great showing out there tonight. Talk about it.           

DENNY HAMLIN: It was a good night. We knew pretty early on, the 18 was going to be tough. It's tough when you share notebooks. You know those guys got exactly what you got. Every trick in the book on short tracks, those guys have it. Kyle has the talent. We knew they were going to be tough to beat. They're really good here in the spring race anyway. We're typically not as strong in the spring race.           

It's all we had. My plan was to really conserve the first part of the last run and let him go out there and run. I was going to just kind of sit back and wait and save my tires. Just when I tried to make a run, I didn't have the grip I needed to close in enough           

It's good. We know we got some stuff to work on, but then again we had a big lead over third. Gibbs Racing, we got some good cars.           

KERRY THARP: We'll open it back up for questions now for Denny and Kasey.            

Q. Kasey, did you have any fuel concerns at the end of the race? How far off was the car?           

KASEY KAHNE: Actually didn't have too many concerns with fuel. They told me to save. We had so many caution laps there, it was during that big wreck I think with Jeff on the backstretch. I saved the whole time. I thought if we were close before, I should easily be fine. It never concerned me after that.           

The adjustment, we tried to get it to turn just a little bit better without making it any freer off the corner. It took the back out of the track. Then I was just kind of up out of the track more. It was worse. So we went down the next stop. It was probably only 50 laps. It wasn't one of the long green-flag runs that we did it on. It probably hurt us for six, seven spots.            

Q. Denny, Kyle wouldn't say what it was, but he said he learned something from you in the race last fall. Do you know what he's talking about?         

DENNY HAMLIN: Yeah, I opened my mouth. I should have never told him.          

KASEY KAHNE: Will you tell me?           

DENNY HAMLIN: No (laughter).           

That's the thing. If I don't tell him the things I know on short tracks, the crew chiefs don't relay information, it's not a good team. Obviously we got paid back on the bigger intermediate tracks. I learned so much from him, talked to him.           

Yeah, it might cost me a race here or there because he out runs me. In the grand scheme of things, it makes me an overall better driver.           

No, I won't tell you (smiling).            

Q. Denny, earlier in the week you talked about needing to figure out how to win in any division. After this weekend, especially tonight, is there any balance of the disappointment of not winning against how the rest of the weekend went?           

DENNY HAMLIN: Not really. I mean, this is a total different level. It's a total different group of drivers and whatnot. As proud as I am of the wins that I had, I knew that it was going to be tenfold harder to do it on Saturday than it was Thursday and Friday.           

Everyone's so smart inside that Cup garage, it's hard to keep up. It's so hard to keep it when you do have an edge. When I say I need to figure out how to win, I need to learn more tricks. I need to figure out more things to do to be better. That's what I got to do right now.            

Q. I don't know if you were aware, but this race was pretty crazy from the standpoint of Montoya, Kurt Busch had a melt down, Truex fired his whole crew. The way you guys finished up front, it's sort of ho-hum. Are you aware of all this other stuff going on over the course of a race?           

DENNY HAMLIN: I watch the screen. I don't like it. Every time Montoya has damage, you see who did it, they usually end up getting racked. You usually know that's coming. You have to realize, Montoya, I like him, I think he's a helluva driver, but you the can't wreck everyone every time you get in an accident. Accidents happen. Guys make mistakes. Why hold grudges? Makes it tough to get in the Chase, too.            

Q. (No microphone.)           

KASEY KAHNE: I think you can if it's around you. I didn't watch the screen, I didn't know there was one here. I didn't see it tonight. But, yeah, definitely things happen. If you want to get those points, you have to keep going as strong as you can.            

Q. Denny, it's still early in the season. Do you think this could be a turning point for you and the team?           

DENNY HAMLIN: I hope so. Usually it's about five, six races before we kind of get going. Maybe it's just this year, I don't know what race this is, about eight or so, maybe it's taken us a few extra races.           

We know when we come to these racetracks we're going to be contenders for a win. I never even thought about one struggle that we had earlier in the year when we come here to Richmond. It's like, Okay, we should win, regardless of what's happened, how bad we ran up until this point. You forget about all that when you go to a racetrack that you have a lot of success. Hopefully this is the point in which we turn it around.            

Q. Denny, you talked last night after the Nationwide win how you wanted this to be a snowball effect. What does it do to have a complete race where you run strong early and finish strong?           

DENNY HAMLIN: Well, it lets you know that it can happen, for sure. That's a good thing. We still had some minor struggles on pit road. We lost the lead early. We lost a lot of time early on pit road. But those guys rebounded and we had some great stops late. They made up for it. Really just had a solid weekend. No mechanical issues, engine issues or anything like that.           

This is what we're capable of doing every single week if we put it all together.            

Q. Kasey, you talked about your strong run at Phoenix, good run here tonight. What does it mean looking ahead? You don't have those type of tracks coming up. What do you need to do to remain contenders, relevant?           

KASEY KAHNE: I think that's something they're working on pretty hard at Red Bull ever since Texas. We kind of realized that we're not as good on some of those tracks where there's a lot of load in the front tires, things when you get into the corner, to keep the car turning throughout the race. That's something we've already started working on.           

Darlington we're going to need to be better after that, Dover, Charlotte, the next four or five races. We've been looking at it. I thought we could run really well here. Now we need to make some good changes here before Darlington and Dover if we want to run good at those tracks.           

Q. Denny, you talk about the things moving forward, what this could mean. How do you not leave this place pissed off that you didn't win?           

DENNY HAMLIN: It's my best finish of the year. I'm ecstatic, to be honest with you. You can't be mad at second place. Yeah, I want to win, trust me. It burns that you didn't win. But how we didn't win I can live with.


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Posted on: April 8, 2011 4:59 pm
Edited on: April 8, 2011 4:59 pm

Kahne tops Texas Happy Hour

Posted by Pete Pistone

Samsung Mobile 500 Final Practice

1. Kasey Kahne 183.899 mph

2. Paul Menard 183.892 mph

3. Carl Edwards 183.755 mph

4. Kurt Busch 183.692 mph

5. Regan Smith 183.617 mph

6. David Ragan 183.567 mph

7. Denny Hamlin 183.436 mph

8. Marcos Ambrose 183.355 mph

9. Mark Martin 183.045 mph

10. A.J. Allmendinger 183.001 mph

11. Clint Bowyer 182.933 mph

12. Tony Stewart 182.766 mph

13. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 182.704 mph

14. Juan Pablo Montoya 182.611 mph

15. Jeff Gordon 182.248 mph

16. Matt Kenseth 182.137 mph

17. Brad Keselowski 181.935 mph

18. Trevor Bayne 181.886 mph

19. Brian Vickers 181.726 mph

20. David Reutimann 181.665 mph

21. Ryan Newman 181.610 mph

22. Martin Truex Jr. 181.555 mph

23. Jamie McMurray 181.543 mph

24. Bobby Labonte 181.415 mph

25. J.J. Yeley 181.281 mph

26. Kyle Busch 181.117 mph

27. Kevin Harvick 180.971 mph

28. Michael McDowell 180.959 mph

29. Robby Gordon 180.747 mph

30. Greg Biffle 180.602 mph

31. Casey Mears 180.560 mph

32. Joe Nemechek 180.475 mph

33. Landon Cassill 180.288 mph

34. Mike Skinner 180.234 mph

35. Joey Logano 180.180 mph

36. David Starr 180.108 mph

37. Dave Blaney 179.874 mph

38. Jimmie Johnson 179.587 mph

39. Ken Schrader 179.456 mph

40. David Gilliland 179.110 mph

41. Jeff Burton 179.099 mph

42. Andy Lally 178.796 mph

43. Travis Kvapil 178.566 mph

44. Tony Raines 175.177 mph

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 5:03 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2011 5:04 pm

Kahne to drive Kyle Busch truck at Darlington

Posted By Pete Pistone

From News Release

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 25, 2011) -Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced today that Kasey Kahne will drive the team's No. 18 Toyota Tundra in the Too Tough to Tame 200 at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, March 12. Toyota will serve as the primary sponsor for the defending NASCAR Camping World Series owners' champions and The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) will join the KBM sponsor lineup as an associate sponsor for the race.

"Kyle has assembled a great group of guys over at KBM and I'm thankful for the opportunity to get back behind the wheel of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra," said Kahne. "They've been very successful in a short period of time thanks in part to the support they get from Toyota. We came very close to a victory last year at Pocono and I'm confident that we'll be in the hunt for the win again this time around. Having Team ASE on board as an associate sponsor brings back great memories. They were the primary sponsor on my truck when I won at Darlington in my first-ever start in the Truck Series. Hopefully we can repeat that performance!"

In Kahne's first career Camping World Truck Series start, he drove the No. 2 Team ASE truck to victory in the 2004 Darlington 200 at Darlington Raceway. He returned to the seat of the No. 2 truck the following week for the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and once again was victorious.

After a five-year absence from the Truck Series, the Enumclaw, Wash. native was tabbed to pilot the No. 18 Toyota Tundra for KBM in the Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway last July. The 30-year nearly made it three victories in three career starts, leading 17 of 55 laps before finishing second to Elliott Sadler.

The 30-year old Kahne has successfully battled "The Lady in Black" in all three series throughout his career. He has captured three poles and recorded two top-five finishes in eight career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts. In addition to winning his lone Truck Series start at Darlington Raceway, he has registered three top-10 finishes in eight career Nationwide Series starts at the egg-shaped oval.


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Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: January 26, 2011 3:10 pm

Kahne set for one-year stint with Red Bull

Selected comments from Kasey Kahne media session:

What are your goals this year with your teammate Brian Vickers?

“Just working together, he (Brian Vickers) wants to.  I want to.  Our teams (have goals), and to me it’s a good relationship and it should be all season long.  I think we can both get a lot out of it.  That’s the goal of having teammates.  I think it’s going to be good.”

Will this be a hard year for your knowing you will only be with the team for one season?

“It’s different than some situations -- or than most situations -- but it’s what we have.  Red Bull was really excited about it.  I was
really excited about it.  Kenny Francis (crew chief) and the team -- to me it’s a good thing.  I think it’s going to be just fine.  One year, we’ll do all we can to do it right and have a great season and go from there.  You never know what’s going to happen in racing.  You never know what’s going to happen at the end of the season.  It’s kind of always up in the air, but I would say that we can do a lot this year and really have a great year.”

How happy are you to have this ride with the current economic struggles in NASCAR?

“I’m really happy.  Something would’ve happened for sure this year.  Mr. (Rick) Hendrick was behind it and told me it would
(work).  So, that’s basically why I made the decision I did for kind of the next five years.  When he told me (about) Red Bull, I was like, they weren’t having a good season.  It wasn’t much of a year for them, but I know what they have here and what they do.  I know a lot of the people, so I got excited pretty quick.  Once I started going over there, even prior to drivi ng for them, and just knowing what was going on, talking to some of the guys, I was like, ‘Man, this is actually going to be a really good spot for me.’   So, it’s been exciting.  I think we can do a lot in this one season, as a team and as a company together.”

Does the one-year deal with Red Bull give you more incentive to be successful?

 “It definitely makes you want it pretty bad.  I think I will as long as I’m in racing.  I’ve always wanted to just do everything I can to win and this is one of those years where you go into it really confident because of the off-season and because of the way that Red Bull is preparing for this season.  I’m really excited.  I think we can do a lot.  I think we can run strong and have a lot of fun at the same time.  I’m looking forward to it and can’t wait to get started.”

Was it a coincidence that you drafted quite a bit with the Hendrick teams at the Daytona test?

 “The reason that happened is there were four guys who wanted to draft.  It was me and Brian (Vickers) and Jimmie (Johnson) and (Dale Earnhardt) Junior that first day.  So, we kind of all worked together and drafted together and it worked out pretty well.   Those are two good cars to kind of surround yourself with and see where you compared with those guys.  It was good for us.  As far as working together, I think Red Bull and Toyota do their thing and Hendrick and Chevrolet do theirs.  This year I’m working with Red Bull and Toyota.”

Do you have a different approach this year knowing you will only be with Red Bull for one season?

“It really doesn’t change because the way I look at it is I always want to make the Chase.  You have to make the Chase.  That’s
what everybody is here for.  You have to win races, that’s why we do it is to win.  That’s why we drive and race.  And the only way to do that is to be consistent in this sport and that’s something where I feel like I’ve failed over the years.  I’ve had years where I haven’t been very consistent, I’ve had years where we’ve been a lot better and that’s something that I need to get a lot better at.  To me, if I want to win races and make the Chase I need to be consistent.  That’s something I need to do this year, I need to do next year and on and on.  That’s the only way to make it happen in NASCAR.”

Why did you start racing with Red Bull toward the end of the 2010 season?

“As much as anything, I liked kind of just changing and starting out with a team and getting used to their ways a little bit.  I think
that was definitely good.  I think it was good for myself to get away from where I was.  It needed to happen sooner than later.  I think it was good for RPM (Richard Petty Motorsports) to get me out of there.  They were happy about it and I was happy about it and we’ve went on.  I’m actually really happy with where I’m at, and since Kenny Francis (crew chief) and some of the guys that I’ve worked with in the past have came over to Red Bull, I just feel really confident and really under control.  I know exactly what is going on.  I feel like that’s a good thing and it’s going to be really beneficial for all of us this year to have Kenny and a lot of the guys that came.”

What would it mean for you to win the Daytona 500 in this car?

“It would be great to win at Daytona.  I got a little bit of a taste of it by winning a 150 (qualifying race) there.  And, we ran pretty
strong there all of the races last year, it seemed like.  I feel confident running well at Daytona and the 4 has been impressive at times there so hopefully we can just have a really good Speed Weeks, be upfront in everything we do and start the season off right.  That’s all we can ask for, that’s what we’re going for.”

Are you disappointed you will only be with the Red Bull brand for a year?

“You never know how long it will be as far as my relationship with Red Bull.  Hopefully it’s a lot longer than one year.  Like I
said, I like what we have going on and hopefully we can do good things together this year and make it a longer deal.  If it’s only one year, it’s one year and I’m going to do everything I can to win races and do it right.”

Is it strange for you to have gone through all of the manufacturers in the series?

“It all changes a little bit.  I noticed how many cars are on the road and you look at what’s out there.  To myself, I liked the Dodge
stuff, I liked the Ford stuff, I like the Toyota and then I’m going to enjoy the Chevrolet.  I’ve never kind of been part of that.   Where I’m at, I’ve got to get a little bit of each one of them and I think it’s actually kind of neat for myself.  Yeah, I enjoy vehicles and I enjoy cars.  I’m with Toyota now.”

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