FYI WIRZ: NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Brad Keselowski on Chase Win

Dwight Drum@@racetakeCorrespondent IIIOctober 10, 2011

Jimmie Johnson during introduction ride
Jimmie Johnson during introduction ride

The Hollywood Casino 400, fourth playoff event in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup, race 30 of 36 in season 2011 is history. For winner Jimmie Johnson it will be a great memory and a move up to third in the points. A runner-up spot made non-Chase contender Kasey Kahne happy, but it won’t count for any championship quest. A third-place finish for Brad Keselowski moves his team to the fourth spot in their bid for the trophy.

The top-five in NSCS points, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth, are separated by only 12 points. The reduction in possible points for the playoffs this year has bunched the leaders and made for intense competition.

Kansas City standouts Johnson, Kahne and Keselowski, had comments before and after the race on the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway track that may predict how well they do contending for the final six checkered flags this long season.

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet) Finished first. (Started 19th)

Before the green flag:

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"The track's lost a ton of grip and it's heading toward Atlanta from a grip standpoint,” Johnson said. “There are lots of grooves to race on and cars don't really wear the tire off. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it could be a fuel mileage race but I don't really want to think about it from that standpoint."

After the checkered flag:

“This sport is so tough, look at all the second places we have this year, we have been close but just have not got the job done,” Johnson said. “We were glad to get the win done today. Big win for Mr. Hendrick, 199 and also Chevrolet winning the Manufacturing Championship, couldn’t do without all them and all the great people at Lowes’, they have been behind us since day one. We did our job today and hopefully we can do it six or seven more times.”

Kasey Kahne (No. 4 Toyota) Finished second. (Started fourth)

Before the green flag:

“We’ve had pretty good speed for the last few weeks and it’s a good sign for Sunday,” Kahne said. “We need to work on it some more tomorrow. There’s some rough spots here and then it will be slippery too when the sun comes out. It will be an interesting race. I’m looking forward to it. This is a great track.”

After the checkered flag:

“It was a good race,” Kahne said. “We had a good Red Bull car, came in third that first stop and the jack broke, so we had to get a new jack and came out dead last and just kind of battled our way back up through there the rest of the race and made the right adjustments. But I think we had a good Red Bull car. The guys did a nice job today.”

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Dodge) Finished third. (Started 12th)

Before the green flag:

“So much has happened this year since we won at Kansas,” Keselowski said. “That win at Kansas was special because we knew we were doing the right things to be successful, but just didn’t get the luck needed to win. Winning at Kansas was a validation, of sorts, and it was definitely the catalyst for what we were able to accomplish as the summer months wore on. I’m confident about our chances this weekend.”

After the checkered flag:

“The car was just phenomenal, absolutely a phenomenal race car,” Keselowski said. “It was just one of those races that you’re trying to figure out what to do not to lose it which, it’s certainly a blessing to have one of those days. It can be one of the tougher days in the car because the heat is on you as a driver. So I was trying not to screw it up. Today was our day with the best car. As a race car driver, the expectations that I have for myself, when you have one of those cars, is to make the most of it. I’m very proud of our whole team that we were able to do that.”

FYI WIRZ is the select presentation of topics by Dwight Drum at Racetake.com.

Unless otherwise noted, quotes and information were obtained from official release materials provided by NASCAR and team representatives.

Photo credit: Dwight Drum at Racetake.com

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