'MAN, I'M HAPPY TO BE AT RED BULL RACING' MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Just like Kasey Kahne has to get used to us, we have to get used to him. As crew chief Jimmy Elledge put it early in Sunday's race, "Look for the Bulls and Sun. Not the Bud ...
'MAN, I'M HAPPY TO BE AT RED BULL RACING'
MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Just like Kasey Kahne has to get used to us, we have to get used to him. As crew chief Jimmy Elledge put it early in Sunday's race, "Look for the Bulls and Sun. Not the Bud sign."
But the end result of a whirlwind four days was a 14th-place finish in the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. The 30-year-old Kahne continued the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota's string of strong performances at NASCAR's shortest track -- four times the car has finished 14th or better in the past five Martinsville races.
Not bad considering Kahne was fitted for a seat Thursday after joining Red Bull Racing Team that morning and opened the weekend 29th in practice and 33rd in qualifying.
"We made some gains," he said. "Really learned a lot about the program. Feel like next week it's going to be better. And the following week it's going to be better. And we'll just keep going after it. Engine ran great. Car ran good. Everybody put out a good effort, and we got the best spot we could today."
Perhaps nowhere is it more difficult to debut a new driver-team combination than at Martinsville, where just getting a car to turn efficiently is a chore.
"To make a change like this is -- it's new people, it's new cars, manufacturer, sponsor -- everything is different. It'll be a big change for myself," Kahne said. "Just starting to work with new people, but I'm looking forward to it. I've been looking forward to next year and now we have a little bit quicker start on that. The atmosphere and excitement is up at Red Bull. It's nice to be part of that."
Teammate Scott Speed finished 23rd in the No. 82 Red Bull Toyota, overcoming a myriad of issues for his best Martinsville result in five races. Flat tire, sluggish motor and he had a pretty intense run-in with Sam Hornish Jr. that prompted him to say: "I just have a disagreement on position there." And he still finished 23rd.
UP NEXT - Talladega 500, Sunday, Oct. 31, Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Ala