News & Media


Six Pack of Pop: Kahne making best of temporary situation

July 05, 2011, Joe Menzer, NASCAR.com

One year stop at Red Bull is an adjustment, but driver pleased with results

Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Toyota for Red Bull Racing who will move on to driving the No. 5 Chevrolet at Hendrick Motorsports beginning next season, answers this week's six questions.

1. Coming off last Saturday's fourth-place finish in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, how do you feel this season has gone for you overall?

"To jump out of something that high and free-fall, I think it would be really cool. But I'm not jumping solo like [Vickers] does."

--KASEY KAHNE

Kahne: It's a bit of a change and it takes time. But I feel like our season has been decent. We've had weeks where we've been really fast. We just need to improve on our consistency and our finishes. ... So I feel like we're pretty good and we keep getting better, and there still is plenty of time this season to win some races.

2. Once you get to Hendrick Motorsports next year, do you think there will be any advantage you will ultimately gain from having gone from driving a Dodge to a Ford to a Toyota to a Chevrolet -- covering all four manufacturers in the sport -- in the past few seasons?

Kahne: Not a whole lot. You know what's out there engine-wise, but I wouldn't say that gives you a whole lot of advantage.

3. So that's just a myth?

Kahne: I think it just sounds good. The biggest thing for a driver is always the engine, and I think everyone is always working on their engines. So in a year, the Toyota is not going to run like it is now. Same with a Chevy or a Dodge or a Ford. So I don't see how it really helps you. It's just kind of cool to say you've driven for everybody involved in the sport, I guess.

4. What about the individual adjustment for you as a driver?

Kahne: Well, you have to adjust to that. You have to figure out where a car runs best on certain tracks, how they'll be on restarts, pit-road stuff and where you set the RPMs and things like that. That's probably the biggest stuff you have to adjust to as a driver.

5. Your current Red Bull Racing teammate Brian Vickers keeps saying he wants to get you to jump out of an airplane, but you've had some knee surgeries in the not-too-distant past. Do you think you can make it happen?

Kahne: I want to, and I feel like by the middle of this summer my knees will be pretty good, so I'm hoping I'll be able to try it. I know Brian loves that stuff. We've talked about it, so it's going to happen. I just want to make sure my knees are good before I try it.

6. Why do you want to do it?

Kahne: I just think it will be the kind of thrill that's hard to get. To jump out of something that high and free-fall, I think it would be really cool. But I'm not jumping solo like [Vickers] does.