Kasey Kahne behind the wheel of the No. 38 Great Clips machine at Daytona Int'l Speedway (DIS)... In this weekend's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season-opener, Kasey Kahne will return to the seat of the No. 38 Great Clips Chevrolet Impala for Turner Motorsports. Kahne drove the No. 38 Great Clips machine from 2003-2005, before his career progressed into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) ranks. Kahne will drive the No. 38 Chevy in 15 races throughout 2012 with rookie, Brad Sweet, completing the remaining balance of races.
Kahne at Daytona: By the numbers... In 16 NNS starts at Daytona, Kahne has accumulated two top-five and seven top-10 finishes, with 15 laps led. His best performance at the 2.5-mile tri-oval occurred in 2009 (July), when he finished fifth after starting 15th. In NSCS competition, Kahne has two top-five and six top-10 finishes in 16 starts, with 28 laps led.
Who's on the pit box? Turner Motorsports welcomes Mike Shiplett to the team in 2012. Shiplett will have a unique role in 2012 as he calls the shots for both a veteran (Kahne) and a rookie (Brad Sweet), who will share driving duties of the No. 38 Great Clips Chevrolet this season. It is a reunion of sorts for Kahne and Shiplett, who were paired together in the NNS during the 2007 season and put down impressive results including two victories (Charlotte Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway, spring events).
Kahne and Sweet: a unique combination... Not only are Kahne and Sweet good friends off the track, but the veteran is serving as mentor to Sweet as he makes the transition from open-wheel competition to stock cars. Sweet was handpicked by Kahne in 2008 to drive for Kasey Kahne Racing (KKR) where he has since experienced tremendous success in the World of Outlaws Series. Sweet will continue to compete on a limited basis for KKR when he is not behind the wheel of the No. 38 Great Clips machine in the NNS. You can expect Kahne to be very involved and present in the NNS garage when Sweet is behind the wheel of the No. 38 as he will closely monitor his progress and offer encouragement.
Kahne brought Great Clips their first win! From 2003-2005, Kahne and his sponsor, Great Clips, Inc., reached momentous milestones, including capturing Kahne's first Nationwide Series victory in 2003 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It was also Great Clips' first win as a primary sponsor. In 2005, Kahne captured his second career win at Texas Motor Speedway before leaving the Nationwide Series to allow more time for his Sprint Cup Series efforts.
Kahne on being reunited with crew chief Mike Shiplett
"It will be great to work with Mike again. He's done a lot in the sport and he will be a great asset to Turner Motorsports. We had a good amount of success when we worked together back in 2007 and I expect we will be able to pick up right where we left off. This 38 team has been on the verge of getting back into victory lane and I think the addition of Mike to the team is just what we need to get us there."
Kahne on his long-standing partnership with Great Clips
"It's really been a great experience to partner up with Great Clips again. Having got my start with them as my sponsor back in 2003 is something I have never forgotten. We are not running for a championship so my ultimate goal is take this Great Clips team back to victory lane. If we can get it done right out of the gate here at Daytona, it would be awesome! With the equipment Steve Turner is providing, to the dedication of the guys back at the shop and Hendrick horsepower under the hood, it's going to be a great year with this team."