Kahne's run crucial at Fontana

This is a make or break weekend for Kasey Kahne at California Speedway. Kahne ranks 11th in series points just 90 markers behind 10th place. It is critical for Kahne and the No. 9 Evernham Dodge team to capitalize on their strengths and leave ...

This is a make or break weekend for Kasey Kahne at California Speedway. Kahne ranks 11th in series points just 90 markers behind 10th place. It is critical for Kahne and the No. 9 Evernham Dodge team to capitalize on their strengths and leave Fontana with a good finish.

With just two races left in determining the 2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup class there is not much room left for error. Kahne intends on approaching this weekend with logic and a dash of reserve to try and creep his way back into the top ten in points.

"This week you're going to just have to be smart and get what we can get," explained Kahne. "The track is going to be slippery like always. We'll do what we can to come home in one piece and hope we're in the top five and lead laps. Next weekend at Richmond we'll have to be aggressive.

"Everybody else is going to be the same way, so it'll be quite the battle out there. It depends on what situations you're in and the time of the race it is and what's on the line and where you're at in the points. You're going to have to really know where you're at in the points. This weekend we just need to gain points and worry about next weekend when it comes."

Kahne seemed like a lock in the Chase mid-summer having garnered four wins and 12 top-10 finishes. After a win at Michigan in June the team started to unravel; since the road course race in Sonoma they have earned six results of 22nd or worse putting them in the unfortunate position of being on the outside looking in.

The sports dreamiest driver knows that this is the weekend to try and make up some ground and that next weekend in Richmond is the time to let it all hang out and go for broke.

"It's a track we can really go fast at," said Kahne a former RIR winner. "We were really good there at the start of the year. We ran in the top three there all night. We were just four or five laps down throughout the race because of an earlier problem. It's a track we can definitely run good at. We have to do that and get some good breaks and get some luck on our side and gain a bunch of points. I think it's fine (for the last race to qualify for The Chase). You could basically put it anywhere except on a road course."

For Kahne the strategy is simple, "Get everything we can get. I think California is a good track for us. We ran good at Michigan . We ran good here at the start of the year. We've got two good racetracks. Everything shows us we can run well at these tracks and we can gain some points. We'll just try to do that."

In five starts at California Speedway, Kahne has three top six finishes.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kasey Kahne