Inconsistency has been the story so far this year for Kasey Kahne, who is looking for a complete race this Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
Kahne won at Pocono last August to solidify his 2013 Chase chances, but coming into Sunday’s Pocono 400, he’s 18th in the championship and winless while his three Hendrick Motorsports teammates – Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. – have all visited Victory Lane this year.
“I think there has been a touch of bad luck and then we just haven’t put together full races,” Kahne said about his season yesterday.
“We’ve had great practices over the last month, maybe a little more than that. We’ve been really good in practice; great at times during the race, but we haven’t put together the full race.”
“And when we have, it’s been one and then we forget how for the next three, and then come back for the fourth one and run pretty well. That side of it’s been tough and we’re all looking at that together to try to make it better.”
Kahne has earned just one Top-5 result (third, Kansas) in the first half of the regular season, and teammate Johnson noted yesterday that he senses some frustration from the Washington native and his No. 5 Hendrick crew.
That disappointment was acknowledged somewhat by Kahne, but he believes that the 5 team is closer to breaking through than some observers may think.
In the meantime, the team’s mission is cut and dry.
“I look at it as we need to score as many points as we can each week,” Kahne said. “Our stretch of tracks that we run really well at started about three weeks ago. It goes for another month, so hopefully we can hit on something over this little span that we have. We haven’t yet, but we are in a good group of tracks for myself and [crew chief] Kenny [Francis] and our team.
“We just have to do the best we can and hopefully as a group, we figure it out and can start putting full races together. If we can do that, we will be in a good spot in a hurry because of the points system and the way that it is now.”
Kahne will start 27th in tomorrow’s race.