The last several weeks have not been kind to the man with the most victories this season. Kasey Kahne's four wins are impressive, especially at an organization where it's two other cars are struggling. Despite Kahne's success this season his last...
The last several weeks have not been kind to the man with the most victories this season. Kasey Kahne's four wins are impressive, especially at an organization where it's two other cars are struggling. Despite Kahne's success this season his last three races have been disastrous.
He finished 31rst at Sonoma, 24th at Daytona and 23rd last weekend at Chicago. His performance at Chicagoland was particularly surprising since Kahne was running the same chassis in which his four wins this season came.
"It shows that that car isn't all what we thought it was," said Kahne. "I knew it was a good car, but we hit on the setup all four of those races (victories). At Chicago, we just missed it. It was probably the worst aero track we've gone to this year, I felt. It could have been different for other people, but that's how I felt. Back in traffic we couldn't go anywhere.
"We'd pass one car on one lap and that same guy would pass me the next lap. It was just a matter of where you were on the track. We just missed it. I had some ideas Monday morning when we got to the Indy test and Kenny Francis had already thought of the same things I'd thought of. We'll definitely do better at Kansas and next year when we go back to Chicago."
Kahne is currently fifth in points and in the position to make the Chase for the Championship for the first time in his Cup career. While Kahne enjoys a healthy cushion in fifth, the No. 9 Evernham Dodge team needs to rebound at NHIS this weekend from the three weeks of mediocre results.
"I think it's really important," said Kahne of running well at NHIS. "This race has been won by the points champion the last two years, too, since we started The Chase, so it's a good race to win. To come here and run well, it's a tough track. I think you can get a lot of momentum by running well at this track. We'll just figure out how to go fast. It'll be the same tire when we come back, the track will be a little bit different, but just trying to go fast and make your car go right and taking notes."
While Kahne is concentrating on running well this weekend he keeps his eye on the standings and is not one of those drivers who tries to pretend that they aren't keeping an exact count on their position.
"I look at 'em every day," Kahne said of the points. "I like knowing where I'm at and where Mark Martin's at and Tony Stewart and how many points separate 12th from fifth and first to 15th. I'm interested. I go to NASCAR.com and see where everybody's at. I don't know the exact number, but I know we're too close (to 11th place). It can motivate you, or it can get you to thinking you need to get your stuff together, too. I just like knowing where we're at. We've been as high as third this year a couple of different times, and now we're back to fifth. To be fifth after an average finish of about 26th the last three weeks is not too bad."
Currently, Kahne is 348 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson - there is an 84 point differential between fifth and tenth place.