Martinsville: Kasey Kahne preview

No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Race Facts Driver: Kasey Kahne Team Director: Tommy Baldwin Team Owner: Ray Evernham CHASSIS INFO: Chassis No. 49 -- New chassis tested at Martinsville in March. KASEY KAHNE QUOTES TESTING AT...

No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Race Facts
Driver: Kasey Kahne
Team Director: Tommy Baldwin
Team Owner: Ray Evernham

CHASSIS INFO: Chassis No. 49 -- New chassis tested at Martinsville in March.

KASEY KAHNE QUOTES

TESTING AT MARTINSVILLE

"I'd really like to like these short tracks, so we're doing a lot of testing on them so I can get a feel for them. Our test at Martinsville was pretty good. These cars are so easy to overdrive on this kind of track, so I'm working on learning how to handle them. It feels like you're going way too slow. The challenge is to control the car and still go fast."

OUTLOOK FOR ADVANCED AUTO PARTS 500

"I think we'll be prepared. I was pretty excited about how the test went, and I'm looking forward to the race. If I can just get a good finish at Martinsville, I'll be happy. I've got my sights set on finishing the race and having a competitive day."

STATS & FACTS

KASEY KAHNE AT MARTINSVILLE

* Kasey Kahne saw Martinsville Speedway for the first time in March when he and Evernham Motorsports teammate, Jeremy Mayfield, completed a two-day test session there prior to heading to Texas. Kahne has never raced at the track before.

FAST ON FRIDAYS

* Kahne's 7.43 average starting position is third best among all Nextel Cup drivers. He has two poles in that span (second-best on the circuit), and has qualified in the top-five on five occasions.

LAST WEEKEND

* Last weekend at Texas, Kahne started third and assumed the lead on lap 49. Kahne's Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge was the dominant racecar on the track that afternoon, leading 148 of 293 laps. However, Kahne's green flag pit stop on lap 263 proved untimely, as a caution was brought out just 12 laps later, allowing the race leaders to put the No. 9 Dodge team one lap down. Kahne immediately re-joined the lead lap, benefiting from NASCAR's "lucky dog" rule. A series of long cautions late in the race delayed Kahne's shootout for the lead until only 32 laps remained in the race. Kahne battled from eighth to second in just 10 laps and got his Dodge alongside race leader Elliott Sadler, but could not complete the pass before crossing the start/finish line for the final time. Kahne was 0.028 seconds shy of his first career victory. The margin of victory was the eighth closest finish since electronic scoring was introduced in 1993.

ADDING UP THE POINTS

* After racing at Texas, Kahne and the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge team vaulted to seventh in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series point standings. The team is 40 points out of fifth place and 130 points out of first.

HEAD OF THE CLASS

* After seven races, Kahne maintains a commanding 32-point lead in the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year standings. He has been the top rookie finisher in five races (Rockingham, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Darlington, and Texas) and the top rookie qualifier five times (Rockingham, Las Vegas, Darlington, Bristol and Texas).

GIVE ME FIVE!

* Kahne's string of three top-fives in his first four career starts made him the first driver to accomplish the feat in more than 40 years of NASCAR racing. Most recently, Curley Barker notched three top-fives in his first four Grand National starts from May to September of 1963.

* Kahne joins Dale Earnhardt Jr. as one of just two drivers to score four top-five finishes this season.

QUICK OUT OF THE BOX

* Kahne earned his second career pole position this year at Darlington, making him one of only five NASCAR drivers to do so in their first five career starts (Mark Martin -- '81, Dick Hutcherson -- '64, Bob Burdick -- '59, John Kieper -- '56). No driver had earned more than two poles in that span.

RECORD BREAKING RUN

* In this year's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kahne won his first NASCAR Nextel Cup pole position by posting a speed of 174.904 mph (30.874 sec.), shattering Bobby Labonte's previous track record of 173.016 mph. (31.211 sec.) by nearly two miles per hour.

NO. 9 DODGE DEALERS/UAW DODGE

THE DEW CREW

The No. 9 pit crew took top honors in 2003 in the Union 76 Pit Crew Competition and was voted The Sporting News Pit Crew of the Year. The pit crew propelled the 2003 No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge driver Bill Elliott's return to the year-end top 10. They also claimed eight wins in the Pit Crew Championship and finished fourth in the program's year-end standings.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Bobby Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Dick Hutcherson , Kasey Kahne , Ray Evernham , Elliott Sadler , Tommy Baldwin , Mark Martin