for your iPhone
for your iPad
NASCAR

NASCAR Links

Scanner Frequencies

Meet the Staff

2014 Schedule

Brickyard 400 Post Qualifying Press Conference

NASCAR
Saturday, July 30, 2011

Advertisement

Kasey Kahne
DRIVERS
DAVID RAGAN
NED JARRETT
KASEY KAHNE
JIMMIE JOHNSON

THE MODERATOR: Let's roll into our post‑qualifying press conference for tomorrow's Brickyard 400. Jimmie Johnson is our third quickest. He's our five‑time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. He'll start third tomorrow.

Jimmie, you said starting up front here in Indianapolis is key. You're able to do that. I'm sure you're looking forward to trying to get to Victory Lane here again tomorrow.

JIMMIE JOHNSON: Yeah, so much importance is on qualifying. Doesn't matter the track. Some are a little bit more important than others. This track falls in that category of being more important.

Proud of the efforts. When we unloaded in first practice yesterday, we were in race trim, and even in race trim we knew we had some work to do.

It hasn't been an easy couple days here. But we've covered a lot of territory and really improved our racecar from when we unloaded to where we're at.

I know my guys are tired, they're spent, it's hot. Their brains have been spinning in circles trying to engineer a better mousetrap. I hope we all get a good night's sleep and I know we have a good baseline to start off with tomorrow. We're off to a good start with a top‑three qualifying effort.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for Jimmie.

Q. Jimmie, as important as qualifying is, why do you think the pole winner has not had as much success here?

JIMMIE JOHNSON: I don't have a clue. Didn't realize that stat was there. I would have thought that it would show being up front, maybe from the top five or something, it would show more promising.

The only thing I can attribute that to is the format we always have had here is it's not an impound‑style race. So maybe certain team's qualifying setup is great for that one lap, but when you get into a fuel run, it doesn't add up. There has to be something there in that.

Q. Jimmie, the two guys who ran faster than you did so at the end of the day. How much did the track change? How much did the weather affect what you were able to do and what they were able to do?

JIMMIE JOHNSON: I think it stayed pretty consistent today, to be honest with you. The sun really never was out for a long stretch of time. Then throughout the afternoon, the clouds were coming and going.

I feel like with this later time, it worked very well this year. In the past we've had an early morning qualifying session. Going early was definitely the way to go.

If the sun didn't come out all day today, I think the position I was in with a slow first practice session, going out early, would have been bad. You'd think things would have cooled down as the day went on. I don't know, it's so humid and stuff, maybe I'm wrong.

Either way I think today was very consistent across the board. I left some time on the table off of turn four. I know I got three of the four corners right. It was a 10th and a half that I left over there. That would have put me up where I should have been.

Great lap. Got three of the four corners right, and we'll take it.

Q. Jimmie, when it comes to track position, does track position at this racetrack mean more than any other track?

JIMMIE JOHNSON: Well, yeah, I think so. I think it is the most difficult track because there really is one lane. It's speed. Run a fast lap, there's one line around here. There isn't much banking. It really leads to a single‑file race. Track position then is really, really important.

I can remember last year and in years past closing up a big gap on a car. I would get five, six car lengths back from them. You're stuck. It's just aerodynamics. Not much we can do about it. Without a real wide racetrack, progressive banking, you just run the one line. So I think this is the most difficult track for us to pass on and track position is most important here.

It's tough to pass. If you have someone in front of you that's smart, can drive a little bit wider car, is smart with cutting the air off in certain ways, keeping you in that dead space back there, they can make it impossible to pass.

Q. Jimmie, Chevy has won I think eight of the past races here and 12 of 17 overall. It seems like the Fords are a little bit better this year. Are those guys closing the gap on Chevy? Are you missing something?

JIMMIE JOHNSON: I look at it a lot from an organization standpoint. Because of the rules, the manufacturers are all kind of held to a common ground. Ford did get a new engine package which seems to be helping them some. But we've been working real hard on our side, too. I think our Chevys are plenty strong under the hood. It's not in that department.

Look at a year ago, where the Roush organization was, where they are today. There's something big that went on in their company to make their cars faster. I don't think it was all the engine. They talk a lot about the simulation program being off, leading them down the wrong road for setups. I look at more the organization side of it and think that different teams seem to find speed.

We've been searching some at Hendrick Motorsports to get what we needed. We started this year with a whole new car, working on setups, and we're getting there. Hopefully by the time the Chase gets here, we're right.

Q. Jimmie, from what you've seen through practice and qualifying, is there anybody out there that you're kind of keeping your eye on that you think are one of the guys you're going to have to beat tomorrow?

JIMMIE JOHNSON: I didn't look at Lap Tracker today. But yesterday, the guys in race trim yesterday, the 29 looked good, the 4 looked good, the 24 looked good, and he was really happy in our team debrief. I'd say those would be the three that come to mind first.

Q. How would you describe David Ragan now? Is he a different person, especially after the win? Does he seem like he appears on the track and in the garage that he finally seems like he might be getting it?

JIMMIE JOHNSON: I wouldn't say post win. I feel like this year has been a good year for him.  The cars are under him more. I think he's been able to drive at a hundred percent to get the results instead of stepping over that line. It's real easy for all of us to do. When you're trying to make up the difference, walk on the wrong side of the line too long, you're going to bust up your butt, tear up cars, make mistakes. I think more this year I've seen a change in him than since his win.

But I do know what a win does for a driver's and team's confidence. It's only going to make him stronger. Any type of success you experience, even a pole here, it's such a big event, that's going to help him evolve, be more confident with the things he does in the car, what he's asking from his team.

Q. Jimmie, this race has a history, there aren't fluke winners. I don't want to call David a fluke polesitter. You're more likely to have a surprise in qualifying than the race. Why are both of those things the case do you think?

JIMMIE JOHNSON: Qualifying, I would say maybe because of the draw in years past. But that doesn't stand here today. I think qualifying was really equal from the start. Maybe from about the fifth or tenth car, once we worked some of the oil out of the track, I think it was consistent there on.

Race‑wise, I don't know. I just don't know. I think that this track is clearly unique and we don't race on anything else like it. When you get it right, you have an advantage. I think that past history at other tracks and what you've done, how you've been performing don't really apply, because we don't race on anything like this.

I think there's probably something in that, where it's a unique track. If you get it right, it's on, you have a ton of speed.

Typically, I remember a while back there was a stat showing race winners here went on to championships. I think that stat speaks to your point there. That good teams, teams that can work on the fly, we only have so much track time here, it's such a different racetrack, you have to be on your game to really navigate through different sets of tires, adjustments you make.

I like that stat, where it shows guys winning championships, because it's such a demanding track. If it's your year, you can win here, I think you have stuff working well for you.

Q. Success here, experience on this track, how much does track positioning mean in a 200‑lap race like this where you're concerned?

JIMMIE JOHNSON: It's everything. From pit road pick to on the racetrack, it's everything. The race starts on Friday in qualifying trim. You can make such an easier weekend for yourself if you qualify well. We have not been qualifying well. We had some good finishes. But I think we had race‑winning cars. I look at New Hampshire. I know we had a race‑winning car. Qualified terrible, a spin, a variety of other problems, we end up fifth. The race weekend really starts on Friday in qualifying.

THE MODERATOR: Jimmie, thank you. Good luck this weekend.

JIMMIE JOHNSON: Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Our outside polesitter for the 18th annual Brickyard 400 is Kasey Kahne.

Kasey, talk about your outstanding qualifying effort out there today.

KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, the lap was really good. It took out a little over a 10th from final practice. I thought that lap was really good. Wound up second there. The car's been really fast. Everybody's done an awesome job. We had a rear‑end housing problem there in practice today. Luckily we got that switched. Everything worked just like it did before. So everything is going good there.

Just had a great lap. I think David's lap had to have been a good lap, too. I felt like I maybe could have came to the green a little bit quicker, entered turn one a little faster if I carried more speed down the frontstretch. Might have been enough to get the pole, but it would have close either way. He probably could have had something he could have done better if he made the lap again, too.

I think it's a really good spot for tomorrow. Starting up front here is a part of running well, being in clean air throughout the race, trying to keep that track position. Look forward to it.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Kasey.

Q. Have you seen a change in David this year? Does he seem to carry himself in a more positive or better way?

KASEY KAHNE: I worked with him a little bit last year. I seen him as much this year. To me he really kind of acts the same, you know, walks the same. I don't know. I mean, he's obviously faster. He's doing a good job on the track, for sure.

He must race and drive more confident, for sure, because he's out there. He does a good job. The Roush cars are really fast. He's one of the guys that does a good job in the car.

Other than that, I think he's about the same. I've seen him a few times this year at dinner, at a concert and stuff. He's just a nice guy. He's always been a nice guy.

Q. Kasey, what did you learn through the days as the other guys were qualifying that helped you when your turn came at the end of the day?

KASEY KAHNE: Well, you wanted a cloud. I might have got a little bit of a cloud, but not as much as some. David didn't get any more than I did. He just had a good lap. He went out at a good time. I think I went out at a good time. That came from yesterday's practice.

I think doing the right things after practice this morning, we freed our car up a little bit more even though it was already on the free side. I think that helped. I think I just was able to keep my speed up a little bit more than some of the guys that were fast lost a little bit of speed. I think Kenny Francis made the right call there. We did the right adjustments. Other than that, we just had a good car.

Q. Kasey, could you talk about how good the car is in race trim, how confident you are that you can at least stay in the top five and compete for the victory?

KASEY KAHNE: Right. We just have to be there at the end. You have to be in that front row or two that final green‑flag run. It seems that how this race is won, being up front at the end. You're not just going to pass five, six cars. When you get into turn one, you got to be one of those top couple cars more times than not.

We worked really hard all weekend to try to have a car that's fast the first lap but also doesn't fall off. There's a few cars that don't fall off as much as us, but we're a half a second faster the first five laps than they are. So I feel like we're in a really good spot.

The car is balanced really well, not moving around a lot. I've had cars that have moved around a lot here, been fast, but move around a lot more. Hopefully this will be just a better balance when you're around other cars because the air is so sensitive at this racetrack.

Q. (No microphone.)

KASEY KAHNE: There's a few. I don't remember the numbers, but there's a few.

Q. Do you typically come to Indianapolis with good vibes? How have the last few days been?

KASEY KAHNE: I always come here happy and excited, wanting to get on the racetrack. Living here I guess for three years and racing open‑wheel type cars, Sprint cars, midgets around the area, I think to me we don't race in Seattle, so this is as close to kind of home as I'll get at times other than Charlotte. I'm always pretty happy at that track, too.

It's just nice. I enjoy it around here. Know a lot of people. A lot of great fans around this area. Yeah, I always look forward to racing here. Unbelievable facility, racetrack, really technical. There's always just little things you can do with your feet or hands to improve your lap or hurt your lap. It's a neat track to drive, really cool track to drive.

As far as Williams Grove, I crashed and was sore for a few days, but that was it. Just like any other wreck, other than I was in the air for a long time. I haven't been in the air for a long time for a while. That was the difference. Other than that, I was just a little bit sore, neck and back, arms. But you get over it pretty quick.

Q. (No microphone.)

KASEY KAHNE: A lot more than I would have ever expected. I was so surprised how many different stations it was on, whether it was TV or Internet, all that stuff. It was all over Twitter. It was interesting. I haven't had anything like that before that's been so popular that I really didn't do anything good (laughter).

But everything worked out. I mean, the car held up fine. Everything was good. Pretty good Sprint car wreck, I guess.

Q. Was one of the calls from Rick Hendrick?

KASEY KAHNE: No. He never called me (smiling).

Actually nobody called me, I just had a ton of texts, yeah. One of them was his. You know, seems like everybody texts these days rather than calls. I texted back to most of them. I saw Ray Evernham on Tuesday, had to borrow a trailer to haul a tractor across town. He asked me why I didn't respond to his text. I said, I read it and I understand what you're saying, so that's it.

Me and Ray go back and forth a little bit on some of that Sprint car stuff. He's always looking out for my best interests, trying to help me. He's helped me since I got into Cup in 2004 and he's still right there. I talk to him a lot. He's been a great guy to get advice and things from over the years. He's still right there always trying to make sure I'm making the right decision.

Q. Was he happy?

KASEY KAHNE: I don't think he was happy with what he saw. He was happy I was all right. He wasn't upset or anything. He was happy I was all right. Pretty exciting wreck.

Q. Kasey, you slipped coming out of four enough to smoke the right rear it looked like. Is that a loose situation or a whole‑car drift type thing?

KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, that was just loose. The reason it did it is coming to the green I drove in a little too far and wasn't able to get down far enough on the racetrack in turn four. I felt like coming back to turn four I'd lift early, get down lower, floor it sooner. So I just went back to the throttle a lot sooner than what I had the lap before. By the time I got to the wall, I was still turning and going a little too fast for where our car was.

I never had to get out of the gas. I was able to drive through it. I don't think it really hurt my lap time a whole lot.

Q. Can we assume Ray wasn't really supportive of the Sprint car thing, is that what you're trying to say?

KASEY KAHNE: Yeah (smiling). But Ray races Sprint cars himself. It's all right.

Q. Does this impact how you feel about other opportunities, IndyCar in particular?

KASEY KAHNE: Not really. I doesn't impact how I feel on Sprint car racing. It's a sport that I love to do, love to be a part of. I have my own team. As long as I'm doing everything as responsibly and paying attention and have all the right seats, HANS device, all the equipment, it's racing, and I love to race. That's what I want to do.

Tony Stewart does the same thing, and he loves it. I think that's the kind of stuff we live for. I feel like sometimes when I go and race a Sprint car it actually makes me better in a Cup car because it kind of takes me away from the Cup race and lets you think about something else, try to remember how to do it and stuff.

I like that side of myself, enjoying other types of racing, not just Sprint Cup Series.

Q. What would it take for you to go ahead and do this Vegas deal in IndyCar?

KASEY KAHNE: I think it just has to make sense. They're trying to set it up to where you can get back and forth. I'd miss a practice session or two. But it starts pretty early in the week out in Vegas. There's no way it could affect my Red Bull deal at all or I wouldn't even think about doing it, if it affected what I was doing at Charlotte. As long as it didn't do that, you know, some of the other little things I got to go over, I'd definitely look into it.

If you could get in the right car, work with the right guys, have enough time to feel like you were prepared going into a race. I don't think you just get in an IndyCar and race. It's a high‑speed sport. You got to know what you're doing.

If I can spend the time to figure out what I'm doing and work with the right guys, it's something I would look at.

Q. (No microphone.)

KASEY KAHNE: Well, I've brought it up to him in the past, about some other things. That would be somebody that I'd definitely have to talk to, see if it made sense. It's not just me. There's a lot of other people involved. It would be a little bit of a process before I'd know or not if I was going to do it.

I really like IndyCar racing. I like what they do. I've driven them a couple times, enjoyed it. I drove in a testing situation, which is way different than racing situation. I'd have to do it in a race. It would be kind of a dream of mine that I've always wanted to do.

Whether it happens, I don't know yet. But it would be neat if it did.

THE MODERATOR: Kasey, good luck out there tomorrow.

KASEY KAHNE: Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: We have our Coors Light pole winner for the 18th running of the Brickyard 400 here tomorrow at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. David Ragan is our pole winner for tomorrow's race. We're pleased to be joined by David and also Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett.

David, congratulations on the pole, your second one of the season, winning one at Texas back in April. Certainly continuing the resurgent season you wanted to have. Talk about leading the pack tomorrow at the Brickyard.

DAVID RAGAN: It will be cool to lead the pack tomorrow. People will notice our bright blue car a little easier up front than they would back in the middle of the pack.

I knew we had a shot at the pole when we unloaded in qualifying trim on Friday. Our car was fast. We spent a little extra time today in race trim because I didn't think we were that great. Didn't really know what to expect from qualifying. Drew made a few small adjustments. Tried to hit my marks, not do anything crazy, knew we would have a shot at a top‑five, top‑five run for sure. We wound up on top.

It's an honor to be here and to be the fastest guy at Indy. This is a great track. Any type of accomplishment you get here is cool. I couldn't be more happy to have Ned here sitting beside me. Glad we lived up to what I told him. I told him we were going to be good this weekend, so I'm glad we were able to step up and do it.

THE MODERATOR: Ned, it's got to feel good that that No. 6 Ford, Hall of Fame Ford, will be out front tomorrow for the start of the Brickyard 400.

NED JARRETT: It's an unexpected bonus coming here this weekend, being honored by David and the UPS crew on the No. 6 Ford, then he goes out and wins the pole. Those white wheels and blue color is what did it.

DAVID RAGAN: Maybe we'll talk them into keeping that car.

NED JARRETT: I won a few in that car, but on dirt tracks, not the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for David or Ned.

Q. David, did you have some extra motivation hanging around Ned this weekend and driving that car, motivation going into tomorrow to kind of live up to a Hall of Famer, legend?

DAVID RAGAN: We can't try any harder than we've been trying all year. But absolutely, we want to do good for all the Ned Jarrett fans, for all the NASCAR Hall of Famers that are represented in not only this year's class but in years to come. NASCAR, UPS and the NASCAR Hall of Fame worked hard to make it happen. Glad we could give it a good run.

It makes it extra special to have Ned here, a little something different. I have high expectations for tomorrow, as well. It's good to get that pole today, but our focus is on tomorrow.

Q. David, it may seem like a little thing, but did you learn anything from starting on the pole at Texas that you'll think about tomorrow?

DAVID RAGAN: Well, I'm not going to change lanes before the start/finish line, that's the first thing I'm not going to do. I realized how good it is to have that good clean air from the get‑go. At Texas we started off the race and we weren't that great, but we were able to run in the top five all night long because we had the number one stall and had good, clean air. That's unfair that a guy running 15th may have a better car than us, but because we're up there, we can stay and fight.

It gives us encouragement tomorrow when they drop the green flag, even if we lose five spots at the beginning of the run, we're still going to be fifth. That gives us some extra confidence, gives my pit crew confidence they can be aggressive on pit road, that I can come in the box hard, I don't have to worry about leaving and passing people on pit road, I can just shoot straight off.

There's so many pros that comes with that nice clean air.  Yeah, you lead the field green, you know what you got to do from the front row. It gives you a little extra confidence saying, Hey, even if we struggle tomorrow, we still got a leg up on everyone.

Q. David, everyone had confidence in you to get to this level. What happened this year? What clicked that made this year so much different?

DAVID RAGAN: We had better racecars. Drew knew how to work on them to get them where I was comfortable. Same thing we had in the end of '07 and '08. I wasn't mature enough, made too many mistakes my first couple years when I was 19 and 20 years old that kept us from winning races. Then I was ready to win some races in '09 and '10. Our cars and engines weren't as good. I was forced to overdrive. Made some more mistakes. Went through a couple crew chief changes.

Finally Drew and I are together the end of last year. We see things in the same direction. All the Roush Fenway cars have the new FR‑9 engine. We have better racecars, just a world of difference.

Q. Kasey came in and said he had a really good lap. He said you must have had a really good lap. He said you always want a cloud. We know how this track is, what the weather does to it. Talk about how your lap fell.

DAVID RAGAN: It was a good lap. I didn't make a mistake. I wasn't as aggressive as I wanted to be. But I told myself we had a good car. Had a shot to sit on the pole at Vegas, and I wound up backwards on the back straightaway. I didn't want that to happen again. I knew if I hit my marks, ran a conservative lap, I could be in the top five.

So it was just a good lap. Maybe I'll remember that for next time. Maybe that's the trick of getting around here. I hit my marks, was on the throttle hard, I could feel the engine pulling hard off the corners. Was happy the car did everything I wanted it to do. So they did a nice job adjusting on it.

Q. David, I know that race drivers don't like to look too far ahead, but how do you look ahead at the prospect that you're going to be in the Chase?

DAVID RAGAN: Yeah, I think about that and I want to get happy, but then I look to my left, I see Bowyer, I look to my right and I see Greg Biffle, Montoya, this one in the garage. That puts me down to reality pretty quick. A lot of good racecar drivers around me and teams.

We can't get confident that we're just going to get in because we've got a win or we've been running well. Guess what, those guys are running good, too. We've got to keep working hard. These are things we need to do to make the Chase. We can make the Chase, no doubt about it. We're prepared for the fight and can't wait.

Q. Ned, when you were racing, I'm sure you couldn't fathom stock cars going around the Speedway here. What are your feelings coming in here, seeing stock cars here? Is this someplace you wish you had a chance to run?

NED JARRETT: Yes, I do wish I would have had an opportunity to race here. Of course, the opportunity for anyone to race here in NASCAR didn't happen till long after I had already quit driving racecars. But this place has such tradition and so many great drivers have done good things here, it's good to see David have his name among those good drivers now because he's got a pole position and I expect him to go out and win tomorrow, and I think he will.

Honestly, when they wanted to do this this weekend to honor me, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the 6 car was the one that was chosen with UPS and Ford, I could not have been more pleased than to have them carrying my name and colors in this particular race. Even though I never got to race here myself, I haven't been this happy really since Dale won here a number of years ago. I really appreciate it. Thanks so much for lifting me up again.

DAVID RAGAN: Glad you didn't tell me that before. That might have scared me (laughter).

Q. Ned, although you were driving for Bondy Long back in '65, when you heard that Kenny, Ray were coming in, was that an Indy 500 you listened to because there was a NASCAR representation that day?

NED JARRETT: Yes, paid a lot of attention to that. We knew how good they were in NASCAR. To come here and pit that car, go on and win the race, I thought it was a great shot in the arm for NASCAR racing because they brought something here that apparently had not been before.

I was not that up to date on the differences in the pit stops they made, how they went about it, how different it was with other teams that had been doing it for so many years. But I thought it was good for our sport. It was very interesting.

Q. Did you listen to it on the radio?

NED JARRETT: I listened to it on the radio, uh‑huh.

Q. David, this race has a history of nothing but champion winners. The top teams at the top of their game win this race. Qualifying, seems to be a lot more surprises. Why do you suppose both of those things are the case?

DAVID RAGAN: Well, I think you got to be fast to sit on the pole. To win the race, you have to be fast, 400 miles worth. You got to be good throughout the afternoon when it's hot, slick, rubber builds up.

There's a lot more that goes into winning the race than being fast. You have to have a good pit crew, can't make mistakes on restarts. Leading the first lap is certainly a start to that. I'm not saying we're the number one contender for the championship. But if we were to go out and win tomorrow, I certainly wouldn't be surprised.

Q. David, when you came in, you were checking out the leaderboard up there. You're on the pole at Indianapolis. What does that feel like?

DAVID RAGAN: I'm hot right now. I feel hot.

But it feels cool. Obviously you look at Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, guys that are pretty dang good up here. Must mean my car was really good. I don't feel like that I drove as well as maybe I could have. But it's a good feeling.

Like Ned said, anyone that is just a race fan thinks a lot about this racetrack. To be able to come up here and be fast, obviously sit on the pole, that's big. It's big on Friday and it's big on Saturday. But when they drop the green flag tomorrow, it doesn't mean anything.

We'll enjoy it tonight, we'll talk about our lap, how much fun it was, how fast it was, all that good stuff. In the morning when we wake up it will be all business.

Q. David, the autograph session they had earlier today seemed to generate a little bit of a buzz amongst people that came out here. Do you feel something like that is important to bring this event back to the glory it once had?

DAVID RAGAN: Absolutely. Not only this event, but every racetrack, every stop we go to. I think that's what made our sport and continues to make our sport so great, is the fans' approach to the drivers, the crew chiefs, the team owners, the celebrities of the sport. I think by having those autograph sessions, by having Q&A sessions at the Sprint stage, spending time with UPS customers tomorrow, that's what makes everyone interested in coming out and enjoying a great race.

I think we should do it week in and week out. Different racetracks, every fan can't go to every racetrack. So my vote, I don't know how the other drivers would like it, but my vote is to have one at every single racetrack. We've got to remember where we're at. We have a lot of competition out there in this world with so many sporting activities and fun things to go and do, all kinds of entertainment. We have to go the extra mile to show appreciation to our fans. My vote would be to do it every single week.

NED JARRETT: That's why I'm so happy to have him carry my name and colors on his car.

Q. David, have you talked to Jack yet at all?

DAVID RAGAN: I haven't. Maybe he's over at the short track already. I haven't talked to him. Jack is going to see me and say, That's what you should have done, good job. I'll say, Thanks, Jack. Then he'll tell me tomorrow, start talking about fuel mileage, what we got to do tomorrow.

No, Jack's proud of us. He's proud of our team and Drew. That's a brand‑new racecar. It's unbelievable. Ned can attest to this. Driving into turn one at any racetrack, with a car that's never even seen daylight before, having the confidence it's going to stick when you drive into turn one, that's what I'm proud of.

Q. This is one of the places he hasn't won. Is he eager to go to Victory Lane here?

DAVID RAGAN: I don't think Jack talks about stuff like that because he is a little bit more level. He expects to be fast. He's concentrated about the problems that we face in front of us.

But, yeah, deep down I know he wants to win here at Indy. He wants to win at Daytona. He likes winning at Michigan. He did let us know that the Kentucky race was the racetrack closest to where he grew up at, where his hometown was, and none of us had got him a win up there.

He thinks about that. That would be absolutely amazing to win for Jack. I'm sure all of our other drivers would say the same thing. We have as good a chance to win a race, all four of us, since we've been up here three or four years ago.

THE MODERATOR: David, Ned, congratulations. Continued good luck tomorrow.

DAVID RAGAN: Thank you, guys.

Feedback can be sent to feedback@autoracing1.com

Go to our forums to discuss this article