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Kahne Fights His Way to Finish 6th at Sonoma

NASCAR - Sonoma, CA

Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, finished sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday.

Kahne lined up 15th for the event at Sonoma, the first road course race of the 2013 season. He held that position and told crew chief Kenny Francis that he liked his No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS. The feedback prompted Francis to keep Kahne on-track when the caution flag was waved on Lap 6.

Kahne improved one spot to run 14th by the time the caution flag was waved for rainfall on Lap 23. During the yellow-flag period, the No. 5 team addressed a loose-handling condition Kahne had reported previously on Turn 2. He lined up 16th for the Lap 30 restart with four fresh tires, fuel as well as air pressure and wedge adjustments.

The caution flag waved again one lap later, and this time Kahne opted to remain on-track, which put Kahne in the fifth position for the restart on Lap 33. Within two circuits, Kahne was running second.

He remained inside the top three by the halfway point and took advantage of a Lap 68 caution period for a fuel-only stop. Pit strategy remained a focal point for teams, and Kahne’s restart position wavered from 20th to inside the top 10 as the race wound down.

With 10 laps left in Sunday’s race, Kahne was running eighth and fighting for an extra spot. He picked up two spots to finish sixth. He now ranks 11th in the point standings.

Quoting Kasey Kahne:
“We had a good day. We came a long ways from Friday. The guys, Kenny (Francis, crew chief) and Keith (Rodden, engineer) did a really nice job. That was one of the better cars I’ve had here late in the race. I was really happy with it. We played the right strategy I thought. Maybe we could have stayed out with Martin (Truex Jr.) and ran second to him but I think what we did and got back to sixth was probably better. That was our plan. We need the points. We have been pretty good, but we have been struggling to get points.  The Farmers Insurance guys did that today.”
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