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Podcast: Kasey Kahne on switch to Hendrick, meeting Aaron Rodgers and racing anxiety

Feb 16, 2012, 1:15 PM EDT

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Welcome to episode five of the OTB podcast “Harassing the Pros With Josiah Schlatter”. This week’s guest is the newest member of the vaunted Hendrick Motorsports team and driver of the No. 5 car, Kasey Kahne. For those without speakers, we’ve included some highlights below. For the audio inclined, you can find the podcast here. Kasey kicks off his season at the Daytona 500 on February 26th at 1 p.m. on Fox.

You were recently selected for jury duty. Everybody always complains about jury duty but I think that’s a thing I would love to do.

Yeah, I was a bit unsure about it at first because of all the preparation we have to do for the season, but once I got in the middle of it and realized that I was a big part of this case, I got focused and really enjoyed it.

I still really want to race cars but it was fun to change it up.

source:  You guys are switching over to Hendrick, with Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson and Dale Jr. You excited to ride with them?

Oh yeah I’m excited. Those guys get after it and do whatever it takes to win races or win championships. Pretty neat to race with them and look at things the way they look at them. It should be a really good year with a lot of good people.

Do you look to your teammates as teammates or is it more of a free for all?

At the end of the day we’re all very focused on racing cars, and I want to beat those guys just as bad as anyone else. But if it comes down to it there’s ways to help your teammates and if you’re in a position to help each other then you have to do that. It’s a solid deal where we work together.

What happens if you get contacts that are acting up or an itchy spot on your back when you’re in your race car? Does that ever break your concentration?

If you’re focused and things are going right and your car’s good your mind just really doesn’t move from where it’s at. You’re focused on driving. The thing is, when you’re having a bad day, then there’s things that irritate you. You gotta be focused if you want to win.

Do you have a number yet?

Number five.

Do you ever get nervous in NASCAR anymore?

Yeah, I don’t know why, but I still do. It’s just kind of nerves and anxiety. I love doing it, I look forward to it so much that I get a little nervous before qualifying and racing and stuff, but not bad. Just go about your business.

I see you’re on the Twitter now, how’s that been treating you?

Yeah, it’s neat to talk to fans and know what’s going on.

You got to talk to Aaron Rodgers I saw.

Oh yeah, what a great guy. SO good.