His Chase spot is still not yet secure, but after three consecutive finishes outside the Top-10, Kasey Kahne nabbed a clutch third-place finish in today’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The result moves him up one spot to ninth in the standings with six races remaining in the Sprint Cup “regular season.”
Kahne was steady throughout the 200 laps of racing, remaining in the Top 10 through the first quarter of the race and then jumping into the Top 5 at the first restart of the day at Lap 65. A four-tire stop at Lap 80 caused him to drop to 16th, but the Enumclaw, Washington product moved through the field and back toward the front in the second half of the event.
“We just really got going at the end of the race,” said Kahne, who notched his sixth Top-5 finish of the year and his first since a second-place run at the Coca-Cola 600 in May. “We had a really fast Great Clips Chevrolet. We kept falling back too far. Just things happen and we got back and then you have to pass. You get so far behind with track position here. It takes a while to get back to the front.
“The guys did a nice job, had a really fast car…We just never got to the lead, but at times, I think we were the fastest car – we just never got up there.”
Like Hendrick Motorsports teammate and race runner-up Jimmie Johnson, Kahne did admit to having issues with his No. 5 Chevrolet in traffic – saying that he wished he had a slightly different set-up to start the race in order to better deal with that issue.
“I really struggled behind cars early in the race and got really tight off the corners,” he said. “Once we fixed that, we were really competitive with everybody and at times were the best car.”