* One race, 400 laps and 300 miles separate Kasey Kahne and the No. 9 Budweiser Team from securing a position in the 2009 Chase. Kahne heads to Richmond International Raceway with a 96-point advantage over 13th-place driver Brian Vickers. *...
* One race, 400 laps and 300 miles separate Kasey Kahne and the No. 9 Budweiser Team from securing a position in the 2009 Chase. Kahne heads to Richmond International Raceway with a 96-point advantage over 13th-place driver Brian Vickers.
* 11 drivers are mathematically eligible for eight Chase positions that are up for grab this weekend in Richmond.
* For Kahne to secure a spot in the Chase the following scenarios come into play regardless of how the other drivers finish Saturday night: he will clinch if he finishes 21st or better, 23rd and leads at least one lap or 24th and leads most laps.
* Saturday night marks Kahne's 12th career start at Richmond International Raceway.
* Richmond was the site of Kahne's first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in the spring of 2005. He started from the pole position and led 242 laps en route to victory.
* In addition to Kahne's 2005 victory, he has two top fives and five top 10s.
* Kahne has an average start of 14th and an average finish of 18th at Richmond.
* The Budweiser Team tested New Smyrna in preparation for this weekend's race at Richmond.
* On Wednesday night, Kahne is scheduled to participate in the Gillette Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway.
Kahne discusses the Chase and racing at Richmond International Raceway:
What is your mindset heading into Richmond? Can you rest a little easier knowing that you have a bigger points cushion after the win in Atlanta?
Oh, man, I've been on both sides of it. In '04 we missed it by 20 points or 29 points, right in there. We came into that race looking pretty good. Then '06 we made it at the final race. We ran third at Richmond and made it. It's a lot on the line. You're just going into that race trying to focus as hard as you can, do the best job you can. But it's tough. It's kind of like you're racing for some type of a championship right now. All the guys just trying to make it in the Chase so they have a chance at the Cup. It's going to be intense. I just look to the points. Carl is right in front of me. From fifth to 14th is going to be really intense at Richmond next week."
You can clinch a spot in the Chase no matter what if you finish 21st or better. Do you race any differently knowing that?
"No. We are just going to do our normal deal in Richmond. For me it is just as tough to try and run from15-25th as it is to run from first to 15th. We will go to Richmond and run as hard as we can and do everything that we can to run towards the front. This Budweiser team has been on their game. Other than Bristol where we just missed it, we have been right there with these guys."
You mentioned that after Atlanta maybe people will consider you a Chase contender now?
"Well I heard a lot of people say that they counted myself or the 9 team out from making the Chase. Maybe after Atlanta, we changed a few people's minds. Other than a race here or there, we have been pretty consistent so I am really not sure why that was. We missed the setup at Bristol and maybe that's why, but we will just head to Richmond and race our race. The pit stops have been awesome and the overall communication between everyone on the Budweiser Team has been great."