* Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Budweiser/Team USA Ford, makes his seventh career start in the Daytona 500 this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. * In 12 previous starts at DIS, Kahne has four top-10 finishes. Two of those top 10s...
* Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Budweiser/Team USA Ford, makes his seventh career start in the Daytona 500 this weekend at Daytona International Speedway.
* In 12 previous starts at DIS, Kahne has four top-10 finishes. Two of those top 10s were back-to-back seventh-place finishes Kahne scored in the Daytona 500 in 2007 and 2008, marking his best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish at the superspeedway. His best starting spot at DIS is 10th, a position he earned in 2008.
* Kahne has only one DNF in 12 starts at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. An engine failure ended his very first Daytona 500 in 2004 just 42 laps into the 200-lap event. That race was also Kahne's first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start.
* Kahne will start 14th in the second of two qualifying races on Thursday after posting a qualifying lap of 47.605 seconds, at an average speed of 189.055 mph during Daytona 500 qualifying last Saturday.
* The No. 9 Budweiser Ford sheds the traditional red paint scheme this week to feature a special Team USA design for the Daytona 500 in celebration of the U.S. Olympians competing in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, scheduled to run Feb. 12 - 28. Limited edition Team USA die cast cars are available and proceeds from the sales will be donated to the U.S. Olympic Committee to assist athletes' training and travel costs for the Olympic Winter Games.
Kasey Kahne Discusses the Daytona 500
What is your outlook for this weekend? "The team has done a great job and the Roush Yates engines run really well. That's really exciting, coming to Daytona and knowing you have a great shot at running well and pushing cars around. That you don't need to be the guy getting pushed all the time -- you can maybe do some pushing yourself. So it changes the whole restrictor plate type of racing for me. I think it's going change it up, and, hopefully, I've been able to learn a lot in the past and it'll give us a better chance on Sunday."
How do you like wearing the Team USA colors? "I like it. Budweiser did that with the Olympics coming up and we're going to run it here at the 500 and also the following week at Fontana (Calif.). We're donating proceeds from souvenir sales to Team USA so it means a lot to us and it's all for the Olympians, so it should be a good program."