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02.07.09

Kahne Scores Career-Best 6th Place in Budweiser Shootout

Budweiser Shootout - Daytona Beach, FL

Drama and excitement surrounded the 31st running of the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, and the drivers participating in the 2009 edition of the race put forth an incredible show. Kasey Kahne and the No. 9 Budweiser team were sitting in a prime position during the closing laps of the event before ultimately crossing the finish line in sixth to post his career best finish in the Shootout.

The Budweiser Shootout is known for showcasing the unpredictability of restrictor-plate racing and Kahne experienced both the highs and lows in the season opening all-star race where all that matters is winning.

Kahne and the No. 9 Budweiser Dodge team started the race in 14th place and spent the first 25 laps of the race feeling out the handling on the Budweiser Dodge Charger. During the pre-determined 10-minute break in the race, the Budweiser team made adjustments to free the handling on the car.

When competition resumed on lap 25 Kahne was in fourth place and quickly flexed the power of the Budweiser Dodge, taking the lead on lap 26. After leading two laps Kahne lost the lead draft and was eventually shuffled back to 16th.

As the laps wound down in the race, the competition heated up which resulted in some close calls for the Budweiser Team. During the final 10 laps of the race Kahne placed the Budweiser Dodge firmly in the top 10 and was charging toward the front when a multi-car accident on lap 73 brought out the seventh caution flag, setting up for the green-white-checkered finish. Kahne restarted in eighth and worked his way up to the sixth position before the checkered flag waved.

"It was a fun night," Kahne said following the race." Our Budweiser Dodge was great. I had a great racecar. I ended up sixth, not far enough up front, but I think we had a car better than sixth. I made one mistake when I pushed Kyle (Busch) too far out front and (Jeff) Gordon got a run on us and I ended up dropping to 15th. From there I had to work my way back to the front. We had a top-five car all night."

Kevin Harvick took advantage of the last lap, pulling ahead of Jamie McMurray to score the victory in the 31st annual Budweiser Shootout. He was followed across the finish line by McMurray, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Kahne's teammate A.J. Allmendinger, respectively.

The next event on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule is the Daytona 500. The 51st running of the Great American Race is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. EST start on Sunday, February 15. FOX will provide live television coverage of the event beginning with its pre-race show at 2 p.m.

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