POINTS WITH SIX TO GO: Kahne improved two spots in the championship standings to fourth after he finished 12th at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway last weekend. This is Kahne’s career-best position in the standings after 30 races. In 2006, he ranked ninth with six races to go. Going into Saturday night’s race, Kahne trails leader Brad Keselowski by 36 points.
DEFENDING TRACK WINNER: Kahne recorded his first win for Hendrick Motorsports in Charlotte’s May event after leading 96 laps and establishing a 4.295-second margin of victory. The win was the 13th of Kahne’s career and happened in his milestone 300th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start.
KAHNE AT CHARLOTTE: Nearly every statistical category at Charlotte Motor Speedway ranks as a personal best for Kahne, who has competed in 17 Cup events at the 1.5-mile oval. Kahne’s four wins and nine top-10s are personal bests, while his seven top-five finishes are tied for first with Michigan International Speedway. Kahne has completed 96.7 percent of the laps he has attempted at Charlotte and has led a personal best 807 laps at the track. His 12.7 average finish at Charlotte ranks as his second-best among current tracks.
CHASSIS CHOICE: For Saturday’s race, crew chief Kenny Francis has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-729. Kahne drove this car to a third-place finish at Michigan International Speedway in August.
DRIVER RATING: Kahne’s average driver rating in points-paying events at Charlotte during the last seven years ranks him third with a score of 97.5. 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.
LOOP DATA: In the last 15 points-paying events at Charlotte, Kahne ranks second for fastest laps run with 453 and second for laps led with 595. During the same period, he has made 1,206 green-flag passes, ranking him fourth. His average speed on restarts of 169.657 mph ranks him fifth among the competition.
HENDRICK AT CHARLOTTE: In 57 events (191 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 and has four career victories at Charlotte. His Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson (seven) and Gordon (six) rank first and second, respectively, among active drivers in wins at the 1.5-mile track, and Johnson 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 50 top-five finishes and 78 top-10s and has led 3,930 laps at Charlotte since 1984.
RUNNER-UP STREAK: Gordon again kept Hendrick Motorsports’ streak of second-place finishes intact by taking runner-up honors on Oct. 7 at Talladega. Currently, the organization has seven straight runner-up results, dating back to Aug. 25 when Johnson finished second at Bristol (Tenn.). In 30 races this season, the four Hendrick teammates have combined to record 13 runner-up finishes.
TEAM STATS: Hendrick Motorsports’ 17 victories at Charlotte rank second for the organization behind Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, where it has recorded a team-best 18 wins. Its 15 pole positions at Charlotte also rank second for the team, tied with Martinsville and just behind Richmond (Va.) International Raceway where the team has earned 16 pole awards.
KASEY KAHNE, DRIVER, NO. 5 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET (ON CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY.): “It’s great to go back to Charlotte as the defending winner. The win in May was a total team effort and was really big for us to get that victory. I think we’ve only gotten stronger since then. I hope we can be back out front and sweep the season here.”
KAHNE (ON PARTNERING WITH TIME WARNER CABLE.): “It’s great to have Time Warner Cable extend their deal early and be on the car for the first time. They’re planning some cool things with me and the team, and they picked one of our best tracks for their first race. I’m excited to drive their car this weekend.”