BRISTOL RECAP: Most recently, Kasey Kahne lined up 10th, led 16 laps and finished eighth last Sunday, March 16 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. With two straight top-10s, Kahne keeps climbing in the driver standings and currently ranks 11th.
SEASON-TO-DATE: After four NASCAR Sprint Cup events this season, Kahne ranks second among all competitors with an average starting position of 9.8.
KAHNE AT FONTANA: In 17 Cup starts at Fontana, Kahne has recorded one win, four top-five finishes and 10 top-10s. He lined up from the pole position in 2004 for his first Cup start at the two-mile track and has gone on to earn nine more top-10 starting spots. Kahne enters Sunday’s race with an average start of 10.6 and an average finish of 14.5 at Fontana.
FONTANA WINNER: Kahne won at Fontana on Sept. 3, 2006. Kahne started from the ninth position and led 130 laps en route to his first victory at the two-mile oval.
FONTANA LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR loop data during the last 15 Sprint Cup Series races at Fontana, Kahne ranks sixth in green-flag passes (1,210), seventh in quality passes (705), seventh in laps led (152), ninth in fastest laps run (107), ninth in laps in top 15 (2,237) and ninth in driver rating (92.9).
INTERMEDIATE STATS: Kahne has collected nine of his 16 career Cup wins and 15 of his 26 pole positions on intermediate (one- to two-mile) tracks. In 175 starts on these tracks, Kahne has posted 42 top-five finishes and 71 top-10s.
CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Kenny Francis will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-820 for Sunday’s event at Fontana. Kahne raced this car twice last year, finishing 15th at Kansas Speedway in October and then 13th at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.
HENDRICK AT FONTANA: In 24 Cup events (94 starts) at Fontana, Hendrick Motorsports has nine wins, 31 top-five finishes and 44 top-10s. A victory this weekend would make Fontana the 11th track where Hendrick Motorsports has 10 or more wins.
ALL-TIME: Jimmie Johnson leads drivers all-time at the two-mile California track in wins (five), top-five finishes (12), laps led (851) and average finish (5.7). Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon ranks second with 622 laps led there and is tied for second in wins (three) and tied for third in poles (two) among all-time drivers at ACS.
FONTANA FOR FIRSTS: Gordon won the inaugural Cup race at California in June 1997 after starting third and leading 113 laps. Johnson won the first race of his Cup career at the two-mile oval in April 2002 after starting fourth and leading 62 circuits. Alan Gustafson, currently crew chief of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS, scored his first career Cup pole position as crew chief of the No. 5 team in February 2005 and his first career Cup win with the No. 5 team in the second California event later that year.