Kahne Finishes Second at Phoenix
NASCAR - Phoenix, AZ
Kahne, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. helped Hendrick Motorsports achieve another Sprint Cup Series milestone on Sunday at Phoenix. The teammates finished inside the top five to push the organization past 900 top-five finishes.
Kahne, started seventh and immediately encountered a loose-handling condition. When the caution flag was waved on Lap 50, Kahne hit pit road for right-side tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. The driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS was blocked attempting to exit his pit stall so he lined up ninth for the Lap 56 restart.
Kahne utilized a subsequent pit stop during the Lap 100 caution period to pick up four spots and the lead for the Lap 105 restart. He paced the field for 19 circuits as the race unfolded and opted to hit pit road when the caution flag was waved on Lap 144 and then again on Lap 167. At this caution period, teams opted to use pit strategy so several stayed on-track, while others pitted. Kahne was among those who pitted both times and wound up restarting inside the top 20.
By Lap 200, Kahne had rallied to line up on the outside of the front row for the restart. He slipped to third, but climbed back to second. With 83 laps to go and green-flag stops underway, Kahne was the new leader at the one-mile desert oval.
During his green-flag stop on Lap 246, Kahne took right-side tires for the third time of the race, and after green-flag stops 50 laps later, he was back running second.
Kahne was running third in the closing laps before passing an out-of-fuel Carl Edwards to take runner-up honors and improve to 12th in the championship standings.
"Kenny (Francis, crew chief) had a great strategy throughout the race, and we got our car really good about Lap 150. Just felt good about our Farmers Insurance Chevrolet. We made some big gains from yesterday’s practices and ended up with a nice second-place finish. I wish I could have held off (Kevin) Harvick once Carl (Edwards) ran out of fuel, but that’s the way it goes. We had a strong car today.”
See more photos at the Farmers Racing Facebook page.
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