Homestead: Kasey Kahne preview

No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Race Facts KASEY KAHNE QUOTES "It's been a big learning curve for me, just racing every weekend at the different tracks. It's not just learning about the cars and tracks, but the fans and the things you do as a ...

No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Race Facts

KASEY KAHNE QUOTES

"It's been a big learning curve for me, just racing every weekend at the different tracks. It's not just learning about the cars and tracks, but the fans and the things you do as a Nextel Cup driver. I've enjoyed it a lot, but it will be nice when it's over in a couple of months and we can get rejuvenated for next year. I definitely will have higher expectations and I think our whole team will. I will go in expecting to run in the top 10 more consistently, have more opportunities to win races, be in the top 10 at the end of the year and be able to run for the points championship. It's going to be tough again. Everybody gets better year after year. I'll be better as a driver and my team will be better as far as working with me.

"We tested there (Homestead) last week, learned some things and were pretty fast. I think we'll have a shot at winning and running up front. I'm going to drive the truck and Busch car there, so I'll have a full weekend to try to get another win or a couple wins.

"It's going to be pretty exciting for the top three especially, and even for four and five. I'd have to say Jimmie Johnson has an edge, but it could be Jeff Gordon or Kurt Busch just as easy. These guys are all on top of their game right now. Jimmie is up front every single week and they tested well down there (Homestead). The No. 24 was good, too, so it'll be real interesting."

STATS & FACTS

KASEY KAHNE AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI

* This is Kahne's first NASCAR Nextel Cup Series start at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

* Kahne started third and finished first in last year's Homestead Busch Series race -- earning his first career NASCAR victory.

KAHNE CHASING ROOKIE RECORD

*         Kahne is chasing NASCAR's modern-era record for top-five
finishes by a rookie driver.  (See Table)

* Kahne is one of only four drivers to have scored 13 or more top-five finishes this season (Rockingham, Las Vegas, Atlanta-a/b, Texas, Mich-a/b, Pocono-b, Indy, Calif-a, NHIS-b, Phoenix, Darlington).

ADDING UP THE POINTS

* Kahne moves to 12th in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series points standings after racing at Darlington. He is 226 points out of the 11th spot.

A VIEW FROM THE FRONT ROW

* Kasey Kahne has four Bud Poles and four second-place starts for a total of eight front-row starts in just 34 races this year. Only two other drivers have started more races from the front row in 2004.

RAYBESTOS ROOKIE BESTS

* Kahne's four pole positions are two shy of Ryan Newman's record six poles in a rookie season.

* After 35 races, Kahne has a commanding 115-point lead in the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year race.

* Kahne's total of 692 laps led is more than four times the combined amount of laps led by the five other 2004 Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year candidates (157). He also has more poles, top fives and top 10s than the combined amount of his Rookie-of-the-Year competitors.

FAST ON FRIDAYS

* Kahne earned his fourth pole (Las Vegas, Darlington, California and Pocono) and his second track qualifying record (Las Vegas, Pocono) at Pocono in June.

* Evernham Motorsports has set three track qualifying records this season (Kahne -- Las Vegas and Pocono (a), Mayfield -- Dover).

* Kahne tied Art Watts (1957) for the quickest any driver has reached four career poles -- 14 races.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne