If there is one word that describes Kasey Kahne’s season to date, it would be snakebit. After waiting an entire year to take over his dream ride, Kahne has a season-best 14th place at Fontana to show for it. This week would be no different for Kahne, who won his second pole of the year, but was forced to watch the end of the race from the infield after his engine detonated on lap 316. Kahne finished a dismal 38th, the worst among all drivers planning to run the full event. The finish drops Kahne to 31st in driver points and the No. 5 to 32nd in owner points.
Kasey Kahne became the first repeat pole winner of 2012 with his performance in Saturday’s Sprint Cup qualifying session for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Kahne, who has been plagued by bad luck and despite his two poles sits 27th in driver points, turned a lap around the .529-mile oval in 19.496 …
The late-race focus might have been on Tony Stewart and his battle with Jimmie Johnson for the win, but Stewart has to be extra happy after this one since teammate Ryan Newman managed to quietly move through the late fracas and grab a fourth-place finish with his own Stewart-Haas Racing car. Newman flew in under the radar, weaving among the Roush Fenway triumvirate who had been fighting amongst themselves and stole the show – along with a top-five finish in the process.
Kasey Kahne’s No. 4 Toyota Camry was the polar opposite of the No. 83 Red Bull team.
Kasey Kahne elected to pit early for his final stop. Meanwhile, Carl Edwards was leading the race but ran up on his old buddy Brad Keselowski, who was trying not to get lapped (and perhaps sending some subtle payback Edwards’ way.) By the time the No. 99 abandoned the effort to pass the No. 2, Edwards had given up too much time to Kahne.
After lurking in the top 10 for much of the race, it was Kasey Kahne who was Jimmie Johnson’s strongest challenge on the green-white-checkered restart at the end. Kahne roared into second and dogged Johnson on the restart. Johnson had been getting stellar restarts in the second half, and Kahne was best in class when it came to hanging with the defending series champion. He made a furious run on the two-lap shootout and fell just short of challenging for his first win of 2011.
He may have fallen short of the win, but Jimmie Johnson showed what it looks like to give everything you have on the racetrack. Johnson drove the No. 48 so hard on the last lap that the car was sideways for much of the lap. If Johnson had backed out a notch to keep from nearly wrecking, it would be hard to blame him, but the heart and determination Johnson showed should give little doubt just why this driver is a five-time champion. Two weeks ago at Michigan, Johnson settled for second. This time, he settled for nothing.
We’ve all heard about lame-duck drivers this season – but what about lame-duck crew chiefs? It was announced that Kenny Francis would be coming with Kasey Kahne to Hendrick Motorsports next season, as crew chief for the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. While Mark Martin’s plans have not yet been divulged regarding 2012 and beyond, …
After a continuance was granted, Kyle Busch will face the charges on August 23. Busch was charged with reckless driving after driving at 128 mph on a rural road with a posted speed limit of 45. If convicted, Busch could face up to 60 days in jail along with having his North Carolina driver’s license revoked for up to one year. NASCAR does not require a valid driver’s license to compete, so such a suspension would not affect Busch’s ability to race.
Employing strategy similar to the Penske Racing cars, David Gilliland had to scratch and claw for his 12th-place result at Infineon. Gilliland ran in the top 10 much of the afternoon and held off stiff challenges from Juan Pablo Montoya and others to score a commendable top-15 effort. This track has been good to Gilliland in the past, with a second-place finish back in 2008. With a solid effort today, he gives his Front Row Motorsports team a bit of breathing room in the Top-35 owner points battle.