“@rachrupert: #grizzlies, you are STRESSING ME OUT!!! #gritngrind” u and me both
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PHOENIX RECAP: Most recently, Kasey Kahne lined up from the outside pole position – his best career start at Phoenix International Raceway – and went on to finish 19th at the one-mile desert oval after late-race contact with the wall. The 32-year-old driver currently ranks 31st in the driver standings.
KAHNE AT LAS VEGAS: Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, is the all-time pole winner at Las Vegas with three and most recently earned one there in the March 2012 Kobalt Tools 400. In nine NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at the 1.5-mile track, Kahne has collected two top-five finishes, four top-10s and has led 58 laps. In his first Cup start at Las Vegas in 2004, he earned runner-up honors.
LAS VEGAS LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR loop data during the last eight Sprint Cup Series races at Las Vegas, Kahne ranks fourth in green-flag passes (485). Most recently at Las Vegas in March 2012, he spent 95.1 percent of the race inside the top 15.
INTERMEDIATE TRACK STATS: Kahne has collected nine of his 14 career Cup wins and 15 of his 26 pole positions on tracks one-to-two miles in length. In 18 starts on tracks from one to (but not including) two miles in length, Kahne scored an average finish of 10.9 in 2012. Specifically at 1.5-mile racetracks, there are only eight active drivers who have more career wins than Kahne, who has five.
LAS VEGAS TEST: Kahne and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates will spend Thursday testing the Chevrolet SS at Las Vegas during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session as they prepare for Sunday’s race at the 1.5-mile oval.
CHASSIS CHOICE: Francis will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-779 for Sunday’s event at Las Vegas. Kahne will drive this car for the first time during Thursday’s test session at Las Vegas.
HENDRICK AT LAS VEGAS: In 15 races (58 starts) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has five wins, 15 top-five finishes and 23 top-10s. Kahne earned Hendrick Motorsports’ first pole position at the track in the March 2012 Kobalt Tools 400. Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers at the 1.5-mile oval with four victories, while Jeff Gordon ranks tied for first with six top-five finishes.
INTERMEDIATE POWER: When it comes to competing at 1.5-mile racetracks, Hendrick Motorsports headlines the win, top-five finish, top-10 and laps led categories. Johnson’s 14 wins are the most all-time by a driver at 1.5-mile tracks, while Gordon has the most top-five finishes (52) and top-10s (69). Johnson also is the all-time lap leader at 1.5-mile tracks with 3,441 laps led.
KASEY KAHNE, DRIVER, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS (ON BEING A DRIVER AT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS.): “I just feel more comfortable now that I’m in my second year here. I know my surroundings. I feel like I understand what I’m doing, where I’m at, the team and the people. I think we have a good shot, and I’m excited to be at Hendrick Motorsports, excited to be a part of it, and we just need to put a big effort in it. It just feels good to be somewhere, be stable and feel confident about where I’m at and to feel really comfortable about it. I have the best teammates, owner and crew chief so to be able to work with all those guys on a consistent basis is great. I’ve never been in a position like this so I feel really good about it.”
KENNY FRANCIS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS (ON ADAPTING TO THE NEW CHEVROLET SS.): “I try to look at the basic physics of what’s going on and try to figure out the right application of idea for what’s going on so this car has some differences compared to what we’ve been running over the past few years, and we’re just trying to figure out what the right way to exploit those differences are as is everyone else.”