NASCAR AMERICA: Kahne’s in Chase, but knows he and No. 5 team must improve (VIDEO)

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Kasey Kahne’s victory on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway saved the season for himself and his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team.

But leading up to Sunday, Kahne and the 5 camp had largely struggled in 2014, while all three of his HMS teammates – Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jimmie Johnson – had each won multiple races.

In order to hang with them, Team Penske, and everybody else during the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Kahne recognizes that he and his entire team need to step up – and step up big.

“We need to build off of this,” Kahne told NBCSN contributor Nate Ryan in Victory Lane at Atlanta. “We have more confidence, we’re gonna have some momentum, and we won at the right time. But as a team, we need to be stronger together.

“We need to make less mistakes – myself, the pit crew, every part of it. Hopefully, tonight will get us all pointed in the right direction. We’ll show up at Richmond and go all-out again, and be prepared for the first [Chase] race in Chicago.”

For more of Kahne’s interview with Ryan, as well as Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman’s own thoughts on how Kahne will fare in the post-season, check out the NASCAR AMERICA clip above.

‘No desire’ for Lewis Hamilton to race in Indianapolis 500

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Lewis Hamilton has ruled out a future appearance in the Indianapolis 500, saying he has “no real plans” to do any serious racing once his time in Formula 1 is over.

Former teammate and current McLaren driver Fernando Alonso took part in the 101st running of the Indy 500 in May, qualifying fifth and running high up the order before retiring late on with an engine issue.

The F1-to-IndyCar crossover proved to be one of the biggest motorsport stories of the year, and has stirred the imagination of other drivers to make a similar step into other events in the future, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans which is known to be on Alonso’s radar as well as that of Haas racer Romain Grosjean.

Three-time F1 world champion Hamilton admired 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato’s victory ring when on the podium at the Japanese Grand Prix earlier this month, trying it on and joking it may spur him to enter the race to try and win the jewelry.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, Hamilton stressed he made the comment in jest, saying he holds not interest in entering the ‘500.

“Honestly it hasn’t inspired me to do the Indy 500,” Hamilton said.

“I’ve always respected it and appreciated it. I got to watch part of it when Fernando did it which I thought was super exciting. I love the idea of drivers being able to do more than one series.

“Just the other day I got to drive an F1 car on an oval circuit which was interesting. I have a huge amount of respect for those drivers as it is quite scary approaching those banks at the speeds that they do.

“I personally don’t have a desire to drive it. Maybe one day I will go out and have some fun.

“I have a lot of opportunities to do those kinds of things, but no real plans to do anything serious.”

Hamilton has previously said he would like to try a NASCAR race for fun one day, but has made clear his plan after his F1 career is over is to distance himself from racing in order to pursue other interests.