Phoenix: Kasey Kahne preview

KASEY KAHNE QUOTES "When we go to tracks like Phoenix, we expect to be very competitive. We expected to compete for the win at Texas. Some teams may be satisfied with a top-five finish. Ray, Tommy, the team and I, we're all on the same page.

KASEY KAHNE QUOTES

"When we go to tracks like Phoenix, we expect to be very competitive. We expected to compete for the win at Texas. Some teams may be satisfied with a top-five finish. Ray, Tommy, the team and I, we're all on the same page. We know our cars are capable of winning. We won't be completely satisfied until the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger is in victory lane.

"When we went to California and Las Vegas, we were having problems with the aero package. This Evernham team worked hard to get the cars balanced, and I think we're there. With NASCAR's new spoiler and tire rules, we would have been satisfied with a top five finish at those two tracks. With the progress we've made, we think we're capable of competing for the win at all the mid-size tracks.

"We've made major improvements in the short-track program and the results showed at Bristol and Martinsville. We're at Sonoma (Tuesday and Wednesday) testing on the road course."

STATS & FACTS

KASEY KAHNE AT PHOENIX

* Kahne made his first career Cup Series start at Phoenix Int'l Raceway in November 2004. He started fourth and led his No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge to a fifth-place finish. The top-five run was Kahne's 13th of the 2004 season.

NEW EVERNHAM MOTORSPORTS CHASSIS

* Kasey will take to Phoenix the same in-house Evernham Motorsports chassis that he raced to a second place finish this year at Martinsville. Kahne also ran a new 2005 EMS chassis at Bristol where he was also fast off the truck until before being caught up in a 15-car mishap late in the race.

CAREER DAY AT THE SHORT TRACKS

* Kahne celebrated his 25th birthday by recording his best finish of the season and career best run at a short track with a second-place effort at Martinsville this April.

* Kahne's second place run marked his sixth career second place finish in the Nextel Cup Series.

* Just five drivers tallied more top fives before earning their first victory. (James Hylton -- 12 before winning in 1970, Harry Gant -- 10 before winning in 1982, Sterling Marlin -- 9 before winning in 1994, Bill Elliott -- 8 before winning in 1983, and Lennie Pond -- 7 before winning in1978.)

TESTING... TESTING...

* Kahne and the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger team are testing at Infineon Raceway this Tuesday, April 19. The team will use the test to prepare for the in preparation for the two road course races on the 2005 Nextel Cup schedule: June 26 at Infineon Raceway and August 14 at Watkins Glen.

PASSING GRADE

* Kahne passed 33 cars for position in this month's Martinsville race. He moved from 35th to finish second. The number of positions gained in a single race (33) is a Cup Series career-high for Kahne.

GEORGIA ON HIS MIND

* Kahne's fifth place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March, was his third consecutive top-five finish at the track (third, fifth and fifth, respectively). Kahne's average finish of 4.33 is best among all active drivers with three or more starts at Atlanta.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Sterling Marlin , Kasey Kahne , James Hylton