The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

October 6, 2012

Kahne leads Chase drivers in Talladega qualifying

(Continued)

"I think we've proven that the only lap that matters is the last one," Keselowski said. "Things happen so late in the race that even the best strategy can get thrown out the window. I just want to be there with five laps to go."

Johnson, who has failed to finish the three previous plate races this season, said his strategy is simple.

"Don't crash," he said. "Whatever increases my chances of not crashing. There really isn't a rhyme or reason to that."

Bowyer cautioned that too much strategy can hurt a driver, and the best plan is to just go with the flow of the race and try to hold on until the end.

"The biggest thing you don't want to do is get caught up in a wreck early," he said. "It doesn't matter what happens, what your strategy is, if you qualify up front you need to stay up front.

"Even if you're up front and you find yourself shuffled back in the pack, get out of there. Get to the back. Especially these guys who are racing for a championship.

"There's a tremendous amount of guys on different strategies all across the board. So many different agendas out there. Us Chase guys, I would say, got to play it relatively safe. If you don't, you get caught up in a wreck before halfway."

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