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Kasey Kahne Finishes 2nd at Kansas One

NASCAR - Kansas City, KS

Kasey Kahne chased leader Matt Kenseth as the laps wound down on Sunday at Kansas Speedway and narrowed the gap to a fraction of a second. But the driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance 85th Anniversary Chevrolet SS was unable to find a successful line and took runner-up honors in the 267-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup event.

Kahne, 33, opened Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Kansas Speedway from the 27th position and improved to 14th after the field had cycled through two early caution periods.  By Lap 62, Kahne reported to crew chief Kenny Francis that the No. 5 Farmers Insurance 85th Anniversary Chevrolet SS was experiencing a free-handling condition. But Francis reported the good news that Kahne’s lap times were fast, and he improved one position to 13th.

The No. 5 pit crew was critical to Kahne’s success and helped him pick up four positions during a stop under caution on Lap 72. Kahne was running 12th when he stopped for fuel, right-side tires and a track bar adjustment and restarted eighth when the green flag waved for the restart five laps later. Kahne held his position in the top 10 through an ensuing caution period and lined up ninth for the Lap 90 restart.

As the race unfolded, Kahne once again told Francis his No. 5 Chevy was running loose, but the handling wasn’t affecting his lap times. Kahne improved to sixth by Lap 133. Kahne was running fifth when the caution flag was waved on Lap 173, and he planned with Francis to pit for fuel and a wedge adjustment. He followed teammate Jimmie Johnson off pit road in third, but lined up 10th for the Lap 178 restart behind Cup competitors that didn’t pit.

With 46 laps to go and the yellow-flag displayed, Kahne stopped for right-side tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. He left running third and lined up next to Johnson for the restart with 43 laps to go. Kahne moved into third and chased leader Kenseth and second-place Martin Truex Jr. Within three laps, Kahne had taken second away from Truex.

As the final laps ticked off, Kahne closed the gap on Kenseth and was trying every line possible to score his first victory at the 1.5-mile Kansas oval.  On the white-flag lap, Kahne tried once more to slip by Kenseth, but ultimately took second, matching his best result at Kansas.

Kahne now ranks second in the point standings, 37 points behind teammate Johnson.

Kasey Kahne on Finishing Second at Kansas:
“I needed clouds. We tightened up a little bit on that final run and putting two (tires) on, I knew we were going to be a little loose but didn’t think it would be quite that bad. Matt (Kenseth) was fast, and I just did everything I could and he would go to those spots and I couldn’t make any ground. It was still a good race, and I want to thank Farmers Insurance and 85 years of Farmers Insurance, Chevrolet, Time Warner Cable, Quaker State and everybody on my team.  The team has done an awesome job, and we fought back after a little bit of a disappointment with last week’s 11th-place finish and came back this week. It has been a lot of fun driving the cars and thanks to Farmers and Hendrick Motorsports for the great cars and the preparation each week.”
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