It looks like Kasey Kahne won’t give up his Coca-Cola 600 title without a fight. The Hendrick Motorsports driver, who will start sixth tomorrow night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, continued to show why he’ll be a contender in NASCAR’s longest race by leading “Happy Hour” final practice with a lap of 188.594 miles per hour.
Kahne, a three-time winner of the “600,” told reporters earlier this week that he appreciates the longer distance races as they give him and his crew more time to tweak the car and get into position to contend late.
“I feel like I’ve done a little better in over the years, 500‑mile races, 600 miles, and it gives you more time to work on your car, gives you more time to kind of fine‑tune and get it as perfect as you can for those last 50 to 100 miles,” said Kahne.
“I’ve always really liked the longer races…We have a good combination to get the car better and better throughout the race, and I think that’s what it’s all about – the communication in the 600 and having a car that’s capable of making a lot of little adjustments to make it right for the very end.”
Kurt Busch was second-quickest in the final practice session, with pole sitter Denny Hamlin in third, Darlington winner Matt Kenseth in fourth, and Greg Biffle in fifth.
It’s known as “Carburetor Day” – or in its simplest term, just “Carb Day.”
But the final day of on-track action Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 is so much more.
Especially on NBCSN, which will have wall-to-wall live coverage starting Friday morning.
Here’s how Friday’s schedule breaks down:
- 11 a.m. ET: Carb Day kicks off with the final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500. The session will last one hour in length.
- 12 p.m. ET: We’re going racing! Strap in for coverage of the Indy Lights’ Freedom 100 on the famous Brickyard.
- 1:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have coverage of the annual IndyCar Pit Stop Challenge. Which teams have the best – and most importantly, fastest and accurate – pit crews? Team Penske has won 10 of the last 12, including the last two years edging out Schmidt Peterson Motorsports each time. Who can potentially beat them this year?
- 3:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have our annual Motorsports Special. Among segments included will be:
1) 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi will discuss how it used to upset him when people suggested he “backed into” his big win and how he didn’t really feel vindicated until he qualified on the front row for last year’s race.
2) Defending 500 winner Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to ever win at Indianapolis, discusses the impact of his big win personally and professionally, particularly back in his native land.
3) An essay by Robin Miller on Stefan Wilson giving up his ride last year to allow Fernando Alonso to race for Andretti Autosport.
Check your local listings for replay times.