ALL-STAR RECAP: Most recently, Kasey Kahne finished fourth in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on May 18. The 33-year-old driver enters the 600-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Sunday ranked sixth in the championship standings, 97 points behind leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson.
SEASON-TO-DATE: In the first 11 races this season, Kahne ranks third with 255 of the fastest laps run, and he ranks third in green-flag speed with an average ranking of 5.333. Kahne’s 99.5 driver rating is fourth-best as are his 223 laps led. The driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet SS has scored five top-10 results in the last nine Sprint Cup races. His average start in those 11 races is 8.5, and his average finish is 14.9.
CHARLOTTE WINNER: Kahne recorded his first win for Hendrick Motorsports in Charlotte’s May 2012 event after leading 96 laps and establishing a 4.295-second margin of victory. The win happened in his milestone 300th Sprint Cup start. In 18 Sprint Cup Series starts at the 1.5-mile track, Kahne has posted four wins, seven top-five finishes, 10 top-10s and led a total of 807 laps. Three of his four wins at Charlotte were 600 victories.
KAHNE AT CHARLOTTE: Nearly every statistical category at Charlotte Motor Speedway ranks as a personal best for Kahne, who has competed in 18 Cup events at the 1.5-mile oval. Kahne’s four wins are a personal best, while his seven top-five finishes are tied for first with Michigan International Speedway and his 10 top-10s are tied for first with Fontana, Calif. Kahne has completed 96.8 percent of the laps he has attempted at Charlotte and has led a personal-best 807 laps at the track. His 12.4 average finish at Charlotte ranks as his second-best among current tracks.
CHARLOTTE DRIVER RATING: Kahne’s average driver rating in points-paying events at Charlotte during the last eight years ranks him third with a score of 98. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.
CHARLOTTE LOOP DATA: In the last 16 points-paying events at Charlotte, Kahne ranks second for fastest laps run with 474 and second for green-flag passes (1,331). During the same period, he ranks third in average running position (12.409) and third in laps led (595). He also ranks fifth in quality passes (729), fifth in fastest on restarts (169.770 mph) and fifth in laps in top 15 (3,729).
INTERMEDIATE STATS: Kahne has collected nine of his 15 career Cup wins and 15 of his 26 pole positions on tracks one-to-two miles in length. In 160 starts on tracks one-to-two miles in length, he has posted 38 top-five finishes and 66 top-10s.
CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Kenny Francis will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-793 for Sunday’s 600-mile event at Charlotte. Kahne drove this car to a second-place finish at Kansas Speedway in April.
CHARLOTTE DOUBLE: In addition to his duties behind the wheel of the No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet SS this weekend, Kahne will pilot JR Motorsports’ No. 5 Chevrolet in the 300-mile NASCAR event on Saturday. Kahne is one of 10 drivers who will attempt to race 900 miles this weekend.
HENDRICK AT CHARLOTTE: In 58 events (195 starts) at Charlotte, Hendrick Motorsports has 17 wins, which ranks as the best all-time among teams at the 1.5-mile oval. Kahne most recently won the 600-mile event there in May 2012 and has four career victories at Charlotte. His Hendrick Motorsports teammates Johnson (six victories) and Jeff Gordon (five) rank first and second, respectively, among active drivers in wins at the 1.5-mile track. Johnson, recent winner of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, needs one more victory there to break a three-way tie for first all time with NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip. Hendrick Motorsports has 51 top-five finishes and 80 top-10s and has led 3,985 laps at Charlotte since 1984.
TEAM STATS: Hendrick Motorsports’ 17 victories at Charlotte rank second for the organization behind Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, where it has recorded a team-best 20 wins. Its 15 pole positions at Charlotte rank third for the team, behind Martinsville (17 poles) and Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (16).
KASEY KAHNE, DRIVER, NO. 5 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS (ON HIS MINDSET DURING A RACE WEEKEND.): “I get a little bit jittery because of the excitement and the feeling of just wanting to go whether that’s the anticipation of qualifying or the race or even practice. Two minutes until practice starts, it’s like ‘Man, just let us go early, I just want to get on the track.’ So I get nervous and have more anxiety because of the excitement more than anything. I think that is one of the things that I strive for. I enjoy that, and I like it when you feel that pressure. It’s a good thing.”
KENNY FRANCIS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS (IN HONOR OF MEMORIAL DAY, THOUGHTS ON HAVING SUPPORT FROM THE MILITARY.): “It’s very special having support from the military. We take it for granted a lot of times the freedoms we have in this country, and those are the guys that provide for our security not only here but worldwide, so to have those guys watch us race on Sundays is an honor. We very much appreciate that, and we’re certainly glad to have them as our fans.”