Sears Point: Kasey Kahne preview

KASEY KAHNE QUOTES "I think we're really close. It's frustrating a little bit at times when you think about why we haven't won. At the same time we're doing all the right things. Everybody is working hard and doing their jobs. We're getting ...

KASEY KAHNE QUOTES

"I think we're really close. It's frustrating a little bit at times when you think about why we haven't won. At the same time we're doing all the right things. Everybody is working hard and doing their jobs. We're getting close. I think if we keep working hard and keep getting better, sooner or later we're going to win races. I don't know what I'm going to do yet (after first victory). I haven't thought about it. If we win a race Ray will probably let us do whatever we want.

"I'm happy to go Sonoma. I really like road course racing. I spent some time at Sonoma in a Dodge Viper not too long ago, so it will be interesting to see the difference. Hopefully the Dodge/Save Mart 350 will be a good race for us."

STATS & FACTS

KASEY KAHNE AT SONOMA

* This weekend will mark Kahne's first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start at Infineon Raceway.

* Kahne first visited the raceway in April when the No. 9 team conducted a two-day test session there.

FAST ON FRIDAYS

* Kahne earned his series-leading fourth pole (Las Vegas, Darlington, California, Pocono) and his second track qualifying record (Las Vegas, Pocono) at Pocono. His 13.27 average starting position ranks sixth on the NEXTEL Cup circuit after 15 races.

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

* Kahne, with four poles in 2004 is well on his way to challenging Ryan Newman's record six poles in a rookie season.

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

ADDING UP THE POINTS

* After tallying his fourth runner-up and fifth top-three finish last weekend at Michigan, Kahne moves up two spots to 11th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points standings. He is 26 points out of the top 10, and 124 points out of the top five. After 15 races, Kahne maintains a commanding 50-point lead in the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year standings.

LAST WEEKEND AT MICHIGAN

* Kahne, who ran a special Mountain Dew "Fueled by Dew" paint scheme started the day in the 34th and quickly began working his way through the field. After an early caution, he was running in the 22nd spot by lap 20. He radioed in that his Dodge was a little loose but getting better. However, the caution flag flew again and Kahne was shuffled back in the field. At lap 60, Kahne was running in the 35th spot. But Kahne knew that his Dodge and the Dew Crew were able, and they went to work to diagnose the problems and improve the handling of the Dodge. As three more caution flags flew, the team worked on the Dodge and by lap 136, Kahne had moved up to the 19th spot. As the Dew Crew cheered, he worked his way up to the 12th position and set his sights on the top five. Kahne stayed out on the caution on lap 151, but came in for four tires and a splash of fuel when the caution flew on lap 175. This turned out to be a smart move, as he passed for ninth on lap 182, moved to sixth on lap 189 and drove to the fifth position when caution came out again on lap 194. He stayed out, and when the field returned to green with just four laps to go, Kahne aggressively moved to the fourth position on lap 197, the third position on lap 198 and the second position on lap 199. He was chasing down race leader Ryan Newman when a final caution flew, ending Kahne's chances of bringing home his first win. Kahne finished the day in the second spot and took top Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors, the seventh time he has done so this season.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ryan Newman , Kasey Kahne