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.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.