Texas: Kasey Kahne preview

No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Driver: Kasey Kahne Team Director: Tommy Baldwin Team Owner: Ray Evernham CHASSIS INFO: Chassis No. 55 -- ran at Las Vegas, where Kahne started first and finished second. No. 9 Dew Crew ...

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

CHASSIS INFO: Chassis No. 55 -- ran at Las Vegas, where Kahne started first and finished second.

No. 9 Dew Crew Quotes

TOMMY BALDWIN (Team Director -- No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)

Racing at Texas

"Texas has become more of an aerodynamic track, but it definitely has a lot handling characteristics to it too. The corners are big, and the banking is kind of unique in how it feeds you into turn one and how it falls off quickly coming out of turn four. Everyone will be working to make sure their cars handle well in those areas. We're bringing the same car that Kasey drove to the pole and finished second in at Las Vegas. Plus, this team was record-fast here a couple years ago too, so the guys are pumped up to be heading to Texas."

Relationship with Ray Evernham

"Ray and I basically came out of the same mold. He's obviously accomplished a lot more in the Nextel Cup Series than I have so far. Hopefully we can bring him his first owner's championship. I'm excited about all the detail type of person he is. All the other places I've been in the past I had to kind of take that role. With Ray being here, it's allowed me to get back working on racecars again, which is what I love to do."

STATS & FACTS

KASEY KAHNE AT TEXAS

* Kasey Kahne has competed twice at Texas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Busch Series. His best performance there came last March when he started 20th and finished ninth. He started 34th and finished 36th in the 2002 Busch race of 2002.

FAST ON FRIDAYS

* Kahne's 8.17 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 four occasions.

FASTEST CAR THIS SIDE OF THE TEXAS PANHANDLE

* The No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge squad set a new Texas track record with Bill Elliott's pole-setting lap of 27.803-sec./194.224 mph in qualifying for the 2002 Samsung/Radio Shack 500. The lap was more than a full mile-per-hour faster than the second-place qualifying time that day, and wiped out the previous track record by more than two miles-per-hour (Terry Labonte, 192.137 mph, 3/31/00).

LAST WEEKEND

* Kasey Kahne's first trip to Bristol Motor Speedway in a Nextel Cup car wasn't all the team hoped it would be. Bristol may be known as "Thunder Valley," but it was a lightening bolt from behind that ended Kasey Kahne's day early. Kahne started the day in the fifth position and was strong from the beginning of the race, moving up to the third spot by lap 13. On lap 48, he passed for second and was aiming for the lead. He passed a lapped car on lap 59, then tangled with the No. 42 car. The contact sent him spinning into the wall, causing heavy damage to the rear of his racecar. The Dew Crew took the Dodge behind the wall for repairs in hopes of returning Kahne to the race, but the damage was too substantial to repair. The No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge was retired for the day in 40th place.

ADDING UP THE POINTS

* After racing at Bristol, Kahne and the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge team moved to 11th in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series point standings. The team is 66 points out of the top five.

HEAD OF THE CLASS

* After six races, Kahne maintains a 19-point lead in the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year standings. He has been the top rookie finisher in four races (Rockingham, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Darlington) and the top rookie qualifier four times (Rockingham, Las Vegas, Darlington and Bristol).

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.

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.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Dick Hutcherson , Kasey Kahne , Ray Evernham , Tommy Baldwin , Mark Martin