SONOMA RECAP: Most recently, Kasey Kahne lined up 15th and finished sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway on June 23. He moved up one spot in the driver standings and now ranks 11th.
QUAKER STATE 400: Quaker State will adorn the hood of Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet SS this weekend at Kentucky Speedway for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup race. Quaker State will be the primary sponsor on the car for one more event this year: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on Oct. 12. Saturday’s 267-lap race marks the third annual event at the Sparta, Ky., track with Quaker State as the entitlement sponsor.
SEASON-TO-DATE: In the first 16 Sprint Cup races this season, Kahne ranks first with 500 of the fastest laps run and fastest speed in traffic (6.438 average ranking). He ranks third in green-flag speed (5.917 average ranking) and in fastest drivers early in a run (6.667). His 100.0 driver rating is fourth-best as are his 400 laps led and his ranking among fastest drivers late in a run (7.833). The driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet SS has scored seven top-10 results in the last 14 Sprint Cup races. His average start in 16 starts is 8.5, and his average finish is 16.8.
KAHNE AT KENTUCKY: Kahne has one top-five finish in two Cup starts at Kentucky. The 33-year-old driver finished second in last year’s event at the 1.5-mile tri-oval. His average start there is 11.5, and his average finish is 7.5, which ranks him seventh among active Sprint Cup Series drivers at Kentucky.
KENTUCKY LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR loop data for the last two races at Kentucky, Kahne ranks first in closers with 18 positions improved in the last 10 percent of laps in each race, first in green-flag passes (230), fifth in green-flag speed (170.961 mph), fifth in fastest drivers early in a run (171.914 mph), fifth in fastest laps run (31) and sixth in driver rating (96.7).
KENTUCKY CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Kenny Francis has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-739 for the Kentucky race. Most recently, Kahne drove this chassis at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in May, when he ran inside the top five for the majority of the race before being collected in an incident and finishing 17th.
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 162 starts on tracks one-to-two miles in length, he has posted 39 top-five finishes and 67 top-10s.
HENDRICK AT KENTUCKY: All four Hendrick Motorsports drivers finished inside the top 10 last year at Kentucky Speedway, boosting the organization’s overall average finish to 10.2 at the recently added 1.5-mile oval. Jimmie Johnson scored Hendrick Motorsports’ first pole position there during the 2012 contest, but Kentucky remains the only track where the team has yet to visit Victory Lane.
HENDRICK ON 1.5-MILERS: Johnson leads Cup drivers all-time with 14 victories at 1.5-mile racetracks, while Jeff Gordon ranks third with 11. Gordon leads all-time with 52 top-five finishes and 69 top-10s, while Johnson ranks first with 3,516 laps led at 1.5-mile tracks. Overall, Hendrick Motorsports has totaled 33 wins, 144 top-five finishes, 237 top-10s and 34 pole positions at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Homestead, Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.
KASEY KAHNE, DRIVER, NO. 5 QUAKER STATE CHEVROLET SS (ON RACING AT KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY.): “I wasn’t a huge fan of that track at first because it’s so rough, wide and just kind of different as far as driving around the track. We tested there so much over the years before it was on the schedule, so I kind of grew not to like it, but I actually liked racing there in 2012 (its second year on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule). It’s still rough, but it’s a tough track, tough to get a hold of. There are lots of racing lines there. Some don’t work and look like they should and other ones work so you really have to pay attention to that. But I grew to kind of like it, and I’d like to run great there again this year and be upfront and contend for the win.”