KANSAS RECAP: Kasey Kahne finished second after vying for the lead in the April 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Kansas Speedway. During the last six races this season, Kahne has recorded one win, two runner-up results and five top-10 finishes.
POINT STANDINGS: After finishing second at Kansas, Kahne improved five positions in the driver standings and now ranks second. He trails leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson by 37 points. This is the second time in Kahne’s 10-year Sprint Cup career when he’s ranked a career-best second in the standings. He previously held the first runner-up ranking after the fourth and fifth races of the 2006 season.
QUAKER STATE: Quaker State will adorn the hood of Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet SS this weekend at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and will be the primary sponsor on the car for two more Sprint Cup Series events this year: Kentucky Speedway on June 29 and Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on Oct. 12. The Quaker State and Hendrick Motorsports relationship began in 1996, and during this partnership, Quaker State has helped deliver a total of nine Sprint Cup championships and 162 race victories.
SEASON-TO-DATE: In the first eight races this season, Kahne ranks first among Cup drivers in fastest laps run with 217 total and second in green-flag speed with an average ranking of 4.571. He is tied for fourth with an average starting position of 9.5 and also has a fourth-place ranking in both driver rating (104.5) and laps led (223).
KAHNE AT RICHMOND: In 18 Sprint Cup starts at Richmond, Kahne has earned one win, four top-five finishes and seven top-10s. He won in 2005 after starting from the pole position. Kahne scored a fifth-place finish in this race at Richmond a year ago. He has led 281 laps at the .75-mile oval during the last eight years, ranking him eighth among active drivers during that time.
FIRST CUP WIN: Kahne earned his first career Sprint Cup win at Richmond in May 2005. Starting from the pole position, Kahne dominated the race, leading 242 of 400 laps and taking the checkered flag more than 1.6 seconds ahead of Tony Stewart. Kahne is one of three active drivers who have won from the pole there and is one of 22 drivers all-time during the previous 113 Richmond Cup races.
RICHMOND LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR loop data during the last 16 Sprint Cup races at Richmond, Kahne ranks fourth in fastest laps run with 323 total and eighth in laps led with 281.
SHORT TRACK STATS: In 56 starts on tracks less than one mile in length, Kahne has three pole positions, two wins, 11 top-five finishes and 19 top-10s. He finished fourth in his most recent short track start at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on April 7 and won at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway last month.
CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Kenny Francis will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-769 for Saturday night’s event at Richmond. Most recently, Kahne led 109 laps and won last month at Bristol with this chassis.
HENDRICK AT RICHMOND: In 58 races (182 starts) at Richmond, Hendrick Motorsports has tallied 10 wins, 51 top-five finishes and 88 top-10s. The organization’s 16 pole positions rank second-best for the team behind Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (17 poles). Jeff Gordon, who ranks tied for first among active drivers with five pole positions, leads active drivers with 1,415 laps led and a 7.9 average starting position.
DOUBLE DIGITS: Richmond is one of 10 tracks where Hendrick Motorsports has 10 or more victories. Of Hendrick Motorsports’ 10 wins at Richmond, half have occurred in the first race of the year. Terry Labonte earned the organization’s first spring victory there in March 1995. Most recently, Johnson went to Victory Lane at the short track in May 2007.
TWO-FOR-TWO: Hendrick Motorsports is two-for-two at short tracks this season with victories by Kahne at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17 and Johnson at Martinsville Speedway on April 7. Including last year when Johnson won at Martinsville in October, the organization has won three straight short track events. The last time the organization swept the first two short track events to start the season was 2007 when Kyle Busch won at Bristol and Johnson won at Martinsville.
KASEY KAHNE, DRIVER, NO. 5 QUAKER STATE CHEVROLET SS (ON THE TEAM’S MOMENTUM.): “I definitely believe in momentum. I know I’ve tried to work hard over the years to get more consistent because that was definitely my weak spot since I’ve been in the Sprint Cup Series. I feel really good about where we’re at right now, and the momentum is huge. When you have momentum and confidence from the driver to the pit crew to the crew chief, as well as every aspect of putting our car on the track, it helps. I’ve been in situations before where I’ve felt like everything was fine, like I was driving every bit as hard as I usually do and all that, and then I won a race. And afterward I realized, man, now I’m rejuvenated and have a boost of energy again to race. So I think it definitely helps. Sometimes you don’t realize it, but when you are on the upswing and things are going well, everybody feels it, and it’s a big part of running well.”