home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


February 25, 2017

Austin Dillon

Kasey Kahne

Daytona Beach, Florida

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by today's runner‑up in the 36th annual PowerShares QQQ 300, and that is Kasey Kahne, driver of the No.88 Hellman's Chevrolet; and we are also joined by today's third‑place finisher, Austin Dillon, driver of the No.2 Rheem Chevrolet.
Let's start with you, Kasey. Wild race out there. Walk through this race from your perspective, please.
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, I was pretty lucky our Hellman's Chevrolet was fast so we ran up front the majority of the race and the wrecks were behind us. But yeah, there was a lot of them early on.
But yeah, we had a good car. Just gave up the lead there with about six to go, and then came‑‑ the restart got a little bit bottled up there. I think the 3 was out of gas. So we all got split up, and there just really wasn't a lot of momentum anywhere, so we ended up second. But still a good performance for our team, and guys did a nice job. 16 did a good job of holding everybody off.
THE MODERATOR: Austin, what did you see out there?
AUSTIN DILLON: It was wild for sure. I got in that first kind of scuffle there and saved it and got in the right rear, but our right rear quarter and spoiler was kind of knocked down, so it was pretty fast but evil to drive. We blocked the lanes for a while, and like Kasey said, he saw me and I was sideways there.
We had to get four at the end because I was loose, and it was actually a good thing because we separated the right rear tire out there. All in all, it was a good run. I just wanted to hopefully get a Chevy to win, but it just didn't happen. When the 3 ran out of gas, I thought the only option was to push the 16 out front and then hopefully get somebody from behind to get us a run, and Kasey had a big run coming, and it just didn't work out.
But third place, we'll take it. And everybody is safe, and the Lord took care of us.

Q. What did you learn today about stage racing?
KASEY KAHNE: I never really felt the stages. It seemed like the wrecks came prior enough that to me it didn't change‑‑ I wasn't racing for points, but I was still racing to lead the stage, if possible, or whatever, to stay up front, and I didn't really feel much of a difference at the end of any of the stages, in my opinion.
AUSTIN DILLON: Yeah, me neither. I think it was‑‑ most of the wreck stuff was just long winter, coming to a track, everybody trying to win, and there was a lot of aggressive stuff going on that probably didn't need to. With the way the spoilers are cut off the back of these cars, there's not‑‑ they drive actually probably a little freer sometimes than the Cup cars.
So the pushing and that that was going on, I think people were watching the Cup cars and get in an XFINITY race and think you need to side draft as much as you can and push, and it caused some of those big wrecks. I think it was just a product of a long winter.
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, I also think that everybody raced pretty hard the entire race, so it didn't seem a whole lot different toward the end of a stage because that whole 30 laps had been raced really that similar way.

Q. Do you expect the Daytona 500 to be as wild as today's race was?
AUSTIN DILLON: Hopefully not the wrecks early on, but I expect it to be competitive. 150 is probably very similar to the 150s for a lot of that race. The cars are driving pretty good over there. Been a little bit freer the more the sun comes out, so that's something we need to think about, and I think everybody is probably thinking about, because tomorrow is going to be a pretty sunny day.
I just feel like since I've been here every race that I've watched and been in has been pretty aggressive, and people are trying to lead every lap and be up front the entire race, so I wouldn't think tomorrow would be a whole lot different even being 500 miles. I think it would be pretty similar.
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, I think it's going to be pretty aggressive, and it's just going to be where you're at at the right time. There's probably going to be a lot of damaged cars that finish up there at some point, but hopefully it's not like today. Hopefully we get through a little bit.
But I think these stages are going to make you race, and you'll see two‑ and three‑wide racing a lot of the day. It's really competitive.

Q. Kasey and Austin, either of you or both of you, is it important to you to come out and race in this race so that you feel a little bit more warmed up with the track, it's the beginning of the season, that kind of thing, in preparation for tomorrow's race? Do you get anything out of this that will actually help you tomorrow?
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, I've been pretty lucky to drive for JR Motorsports. I've been able to run these Saturday shows a good bit over the years, and to me it's been nice. I've never been like just trying to make the right moves at the right times and do things that you see Dale and Denny, some of those guys do, time after time again.
I haven't‑‑ I don't feel like I do that enough, so I like running XFINITY. I like getting those extra laps and just trying to clean things up and understand what's getting ready to happen more in my mirror, and then also work more with my spotter. We'll just try to get a better rhythm for the 500.
I personally think it's good for me, and I enjoy getting to drive a fast car each time I've done it.
AUSTIN DILLON: It is definitely good. You get practice and learn. I think it takes days off your life running these races, but you definitely get some experience.

Q. In the transition from day to night, did you learn anything from that going into the 500?
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, I didn't feel like it changed a whole lot. I think the cars‑‑ with some cars being damaged and different things, you could feel‑‑ depending on which cars were in which lines, once we lost Elliott Sadler I thought we lost a good bit of the speed from that front draft. When we gained Austin, it seemed like with Austin there was more speed up there.
Then when he restarted back it was a little slower for a minute. I really feel like kind of the cars that were in that front six or probably four rows really controlled how everything handled, more than the sun going down myself.

Q. Austin, you got some damage in one of the earlier wrecks and had to come down pit road for repairs and put on the five‑minute clock. What was that like being in the driver's seat?
AUSTIN DILLON: The guys did really good. They kept up with the clock and fixed the car well. I was lucky that we didn't have really bad damage. I mean, it looks really bad, but it's mostly cosmetic. They did a really good job and they were patient. The front end still was good, so that was probably the key to getting out of that five‑minute clock and getting back out there and being competitive.

Q. Did you guys learn stuff on the stages that can apply to tomorrow, or did you just‑‑ did not much apply?
AUSTIN DILLON: The 62‑‑ well, actually my plan, too, we came down running ninth and took fuel and right sides, and we were going to stay out the next‑‑ to get the lead. The 62 actually got the lead, so there was some track position gained there. So gave up points in the first stage, but it also kind of got us in that wreck.
But there's going to be different strategies to try and get track position, I think, between each of those stages. But other than that, not‑‑
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, I agree with that. I saw a lot of guys pitting maybe 10 laps or six laps before that first stage to try to gain for maybe the next stage and make it to that point to get points in the second one.
So it was interesting, a little bit of strategy. As far as the racing, I didn't feel like it was a whole lot different, but I thought the strategy definitely probably a touch different because of the stages.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thanks for the show today, and good luck tomorrow in the Great American Race.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297