Kahne Moves to 10th in Points After Chicago
NASCAR - Joliet, IL
Kahne opened Sunday’s event from the fourth position and an immediate tight-handling condition cost him track position. He slipped to eighth before hitting pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment during NASCAR’s Lap 30 competition caution. A slight drizzle delayed the restart, but when the field resumed green-flag racing on Lap 37, Kahne was running 13th.
Kahne notified Crew Chief Kenny Francis that he needed the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS to turn better, like it did during Saturday’s final practice, which he led. Kahne climbed to fourth when green-flag pit stops began on Lap 75. He stopped shortly after for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. The tweaks helped, and Kahne was running ninth back on track at Lap 85.
Kahne focused on improving his track position as rain threatened outside the 1.5-mile oval. On Lap 108, the caution flag was waved for rain on the track. The yellow flag was exchanged for a red one, and NASCAR stopped competitors on pit road. Prior to the rain delay, Kahne and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates were running inside the top nine.
When the red flag was lifted, Kahne picked up four spots with a two-tire stop. He restarted fourth, and within two laps, Kahne was contending for the third spot. When the caution flag was waved on Lap 122, Kahne told Francis that his No. 5 Chevy SS felt a little tight, but seemed to be running well. Kahne restarted fourth on Lap 128 and was running seventh when the caution flag waved again on Lap 167. While making his stop for right-side tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, Kahne sustained contact on pit road that required a subsequent pit stop. The No. 5 Farmers Insurance team worked to get Kahne back on the track, and he returned to run 30th to race for valuable Chase points.
Kahne swiftly toured the 1.5-mile speedway, improving to 11th by Lap 200. He cracked the top 10 within 12 circuits and was running seventh by Lap 219. With 47 laps to go, he made a green-flag stop for fuel and four tires. Kahne lined up 10th for the Lap 230 restart and improved to seventh before stopping during a Lap 240 caution period for right-side tires and fuel. Kahne lined up 10th for the Lap 243 restart and was battling Jeff Gordon for eighth within one lap. He held on to finish Sunday’s race 12th.
Kahne now ranks 10th in the Chase championship standings, 31 points behind leader Matt Kenseth.
To view the full photo gallery, visit the Farmers Racing Facebook page.
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