DOVER RECAP: Most recently, Kasey Kahne led two laps and finished 23rd at Dover (Del.) International Speedway after being involved in a late-race incident. He now ranks seventh in the driver standings and trails leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson by 81 points.
SEASON-TO-DATE: In the first 13 races this season, Kahne ranks first with 425 of the fastest laps run. His 102.1 driver rating is fourth-best as are his 386 laps led, green-flag speed (tied with a 6.0 average ranking) and average running position (11.942). The driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet SS has scored six top-10 results in the last 11 Sprint Cup races. His average start in 13 starts is 8.5, and his average finish is 14.5.
HENDRICKCARS.COM: Hendrickcars.com returns as a primary partner for Kahne and the No. 5 Chevrolet SS this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Hendrickcars.com offers more than 25,000 new and pre-owned vehicles, including trucks, SUVs, commercial vehicles and motorcycles. Hendrickcars.com also features classic cars, available for purchase, from Rick Hendrick’s personal collection.
KAHNE AT POCONO: In 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Pocono Raceway, Kahne has recorded one win, four top-five finishes and six top-10s. He has two career pole positions at the track and won from the top spot in June 2008 after leading 69 laps. He has completed 99.2 percent of laps attempted and has led 151 laps at the 2.5-mile track. Most recently at Pocono, Kahne finished second there in August 2012.
QUICK IN QUALIFYING: Kahne ranks as Pocono’s second-best qualifier among active drivers with an average start of 8.7. Most recently, he started from fourth in August 2012.
POCONO LOOP DATA: During the last 16 races at Pocono, Kahne ranks fourth for fastest laps run with 192 according to NASCAR loop data. The driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet SS ranks fifth with 1,304 green-flag passes during the same period. Kahne’s average green-flag speed of 160.219 mph ranks him eighth among drivers in that timeframe. He also ranks sixth in the following categories: fastest drivers early in a run (161.794 mph), laps led (147) and sixth in quality passes (645).
CHASSIS CHOICE: For this weekend at Pocono, crew chief Kenny Francis will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-779, a car Kahne has driven twice before. In March, Kahne led 114 laps in this chassis and finished second at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Most recently, he raced this car at Texas Motor Speedway in April and finished 11th.
KEYSTONE STATE CREW MEMBER: Chris Fasulka, gas man on the No. 5 team, hails from nearby Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and calls Pocono his favorite track on the circuit. Fasulka also works as a suspension and brake specialist in the Nos. 5 and 24 team shop.
HENDRICK AT POCONO: Hendrick Motorsports is the winningest organization at Pocono with 13 Cup victories. In 58 Cup races (189 starts) at the 2.5-mile racetrack, Hendrick Motorsports has gathered 55 top-five finishes and 98 top-10s. Jeff Gordon most recently went to Victory Lane for Hendrick Motorsports at the Tricky Triangle in August 2012. With six victories, Gordon is ranked first among drivers all-time at the Tricky Triangle. Gordon’s 965 laps led are the most among drivers all-time at Pocono.
SEASON-TO-DATE: In the first 13 Cup races of the season, Hendrick Motorsports drivers have tallied three victories (Johnson with two and Kahne with one) and six runner-up results (Kahne has three, Earnhardt has two and Johnson has one). The Hendrick Motorsports teammates rank inside the top 11 in the driver standings. Johnson is first, followed by sixth-place Earnhardt, seventh-place Kahne and 11th-place Gordon.
KASEY KAHNE, DRIVER, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET SS (ON HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH CREW CHIEF KENNY FRANCIS.): “We’ve had some things thrown at us over the years, and we’ve just always stuck together. At the end of each year, we’ve talked and sometimes he’d be like, ‘Man, do you want me to still be your crew chief’ or ‘Do you want this’ or ‘What are you thinking,’ and we were always up-front with each other. It’s just easy to say that I don’t want anybody different for myself. He’s given me more opportunities to win in the situations we’ve been in than anybody else ever would have. I just have a lot of respect for Kenny Francis. There is no one else I want to work with, and I think he feels the same way right now. That is where we are at. We both feel that we have a team surrounding us that is capable of doing a lot this season.”