MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
AUTO CLUB 400
AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
MARCH 16, 2018
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 95 WRL GENERAL CONTRACTORS CAMARO ZL1 met with media and discussed the Lefty’s Kids Club, the season thus far with Leavine Family Racing, his start as a kid in racing, how he is looking forward to racing at Martinsville soon, and more. Full Transcript:
AS OUR NEW AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY KIDS CLUB PRESIDENT, TALK ABOUT BEING HERE AND YOUR ASSOCIATION WITH THE KIDS
“It’s good to be here in California and get to race at this race track. It’s always a track that I’ve really enjoyed over the years. The first practice (today) didn’t go very well for us, but we have a lot of time to hopefully get better as the weekend goes here. I’ve seen Lefty before, but I met him a little bit two weeks ago when I was out here and we did a deal close to the track with some kids and actually got to learn how to play the guitar, which was really cool. Lefty was there. It was a great band and they’re coming as well. To be part of this and see the kids here and the 135,000 people it touches this year is really neat and unbelievable. It’s great to see that and to see kids being into racing and also into education in general. To be part of that feels good.”
WHAT STARTED YOUR PASSION FOR RACING?
“Mine started at a young age. I was pretty little the first time I went to a dirt track, which was the kind of racing I started in. My dad worked on dirt cars and we had a local dirt track a couple of miles from our house, so I would see him working on them and I would go to the race track and sit in the grandstands with my mom and watch. My passion started growing at that point in time. I think the competition and just seeing everybody racing for first and things like that really got me intrigued. And then I also had some friends at the race track, so it started building when I was four or five years old and I started racing when I was 14. I talked my parents into it and I started when I was 14 and have raced ever since. It started by watching and trying to learn, and also by watching TV. I used to watch NASCAR and IndyCar and Sprint Cars on TV back then also.”
IS RACING SOMETHING YOU WOULD ENCOURAGE YOUR SON TO DO?
“If he wants to. I think for myself it’s worked out really well. I’ve enjoyed it, but there are definitely a lot of ups and a ton of downs as well, in racing. Just thinking about my son (Tanner) now, I don’t want him to see downs, but that’s part of life. It’s part of learning. So, if he wants to race, I feel like I can really give him good direction and help him get started and just see where he goes with it. Right now he likes racing. He’s two, so he likes a lot of things. Racing is one of them but airplanes are really on the top of his list at this point in time. Yeah, if he wants to, I’ll definitely help him with that. But, I’m not going to make him or push him in that direction unless that’s what he really wants.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR TENURE AT LEAVINE FAMILY RACING? ARE YOU CONTENT WITH THE DIRECTION THE TEAM IS GOING? WHAT’S YOUR OUTLOOK?
“There’s a lot to be learned at this point. We’re learning a lot. This practice today, we didn’t get anything out of it at all just because of situation we were in and situations we put ourselves in. We’re definitely learning as a team. We all have to keep learning if we want to get better and hopefully soon we’ll start making those strides. But at this point, we still have a good ways to go before it’s anywhere near where any of us want it to be.”
DID YOU BRING ANY NEW EXPERTISE CONCERNING ENGINEERING FROM HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS TO LEAVINE FAMILY RACING? ARE THINGS TOTALLY DIFFERENT THAN LAST YEAR OR TWO YEARS AGO
“I think things change so much and things change so quickly, the little bit that I know doesn’t really do a whole lot for you. I feel like I bring experience and expertise from driving and being in certain situations throughout the years with the way maybe out schedule is laid out and the way that our races play out a lot of times so I can help in some of those areas. But as far as the engineering side, we work with RCR a good bit and I think it’s probably best just to stay on that path with what that working relationship is at this point. Like I said, I don’t know enough about what Hendrick would have done or did over the years; I just drove the car and learned as much as I could when I was doing that.”
IF WE FLIP AHEAD NEXT WEEK, WHAT ARE THE PARTICULAR CHALLENGES AT MARTINSVILLE FOR YOU? YOU’VE HAD SOME GOOD RUNS THERE BUT HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO BREAK THROUGH
“Yeah, Martinsville is great. It was my toughest track for the first couple of years of my career. And then I started enjoying it and figuring it out a little bit. I really like that place because of the straight-line braking, the coasting, getting your car to turn off the throttle and in the throttle without wearing your rear tires off. It’s really a tricky and challenging place. There’s some really challenging areas to that track. It seems like when guys figure it out, they really can go on runs for a good period of time like Jeff Gordon has done, and Jimmie (Johnson) and Denny Hamlin and I think (Brad) Keselowski and (Joey) Logano for a bit there, too. It will be much different than anything we’ve done. It will be nice to be on a shorter track and be close to home again. I think this stretch is a tough stretch for everybody and for our deal I feel like it’s probably even a little tougher just because we’re trying to get started and we’ve been behind since the start of the year. That’ makes it even a little tougher. So, I think it will be nice to go to Martinsville and have a week off to get caught-up on our stuff and get ready for Texas and Bristol from there.”
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