TALLADEGA RECAP: Most recently, Kasey Kahne was running third on Lap 43 when he was collected in a 16-car incident at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Sunday. Sidelined, Kahne was credited with a 42nd-place finish. He now ranks sixth in the driver standings and trails leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson by 84 points.
SEASON-TO-DATE: In the first 10 races this season, Kahne ranks second with 230 of the fastest laps run, and he ranks third in green-flag speed with an average ranking of 5.5. Kahne’s 98.9 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 eight Sprint Cup races. His average start in 10 starts is 9.0, and his average finish is 14.7.
KAHNE AT DARLINGTON: In 10 Sprint Cup starts at Darlington, Kahne has earned three top-five finishes and four top-10s. He has four career pole positions at the track, which are the most for any active driver there and rank as a personal best for Kahne at any track. His 2011 qualifying effort established a new track record with a 27.131-second lap at roughly 181.254 mph. Kahne has started in the top 10 eight times at the Track Too Tough to Tame and has completed 99.9 percent of all the laps he’s attempted there (3,599 laps of 3,603 total).
DARLINGTON LOOP DATA: During the last eight years at Darlington, Kahne has run 192 fastest laps, which ranks third among drivers according to NASCAR loop data. During the same period, he also ranks fourth-fastest on restarts (156.759), fifth for laps led with 304, sixth in driver rating (98.3) and sixth in fastest drivers early in a run (162.812). Kahne’s average running position of 11.087 ranks him seventh among drivers in that same timeframe.
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 159 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. 5-739 for Saturday night’s event at Darlington. This is a new chassis.
DARLINGTON 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 200.8-mile NASCAR event on Friday night.
HENDRICK AT DARLINGTON: In 50 events (154 starts) at Darlington Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports has earned 14 wins, 40 top-five finishes and 65 top-10s. Johnson most recently won at the historic track on May 12, 2012, to claim Hendrick Motorsports’ 200th Sprint Cup victory. Jeff Gordon, who will be making his 700th career Cup start this weekend, leads all active drivers with seven wins, 18 top-five finishes, a 6.7th-place average start and 1,720 laps led at the 1.366-mile oval.
KASEY KAHNE, DRIVER, NO. 5 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS (ON THE IMPORTANCE OF HIS TEAM.): “The crew is a huge part of our racing success. Their preparation comes into play each weekend and makes the difference. It’s all about them and how well they prepare, and my guys do a really nice job so it’s a lot of fun driving the car I drive.”