POCONO RECAP: Most recently, Kasey Kahne drove the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS to Victory Lane at Pocono Raceway after starting from the 18th position and leading 66 laps. With his second win of the 2013 season, Kahne improves one position to eighth in the driver standings. He trails leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson by 160 points and fifth-place teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 44 points.
SEASON-TO-DATE: In the first 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season, Kahne ranks first with 606 of the fastest laps run and fastest speed in traffic (5.476 average ranking). He ranks second in green-flag speed (5.500 average ranking) and second among fastest drivers late in a run (7.375). He is third-best in fastest drivers early in a run (6.250) and third in driver rating (102.7). His 466 laps led are fourth overall. His average start in 21 races is 9.2, and his average finish is 15.6.
KAHNE AT WATKINS GLEN: In nine Sprint Cup starts at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, Kahne has three top-15 finishes. He has completed every lap that he has attempted at the 2.45-mile road course (814 laps total). The driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS has two top-10 starts at the Glen, including an outside pole position in 2006. Kahne earned his best result at Watkins Glen last year when he crossed the finish line 13th.
ROAD COURSE STATS: Kahne still is looking for a win at Watkins Glen, but he has found Victory Lane at the Cup circuit’s other road course in Sonoma, Calif., in 2009. He also has claimed two top-five finishes, three top-10s and two pole positions at the northern California track. Most recently at Sonoma, Kahne finished sixth there in June.
WATKINS GLEN LOOP DATA: During the last eight races at Watkins Glen, Kahne has made 385 green-flag passes, ranking him fourth among the competition. He also ranks 13th for quality passes with 138 during that timeframe.
CHASSIS CHOICE: For this weekend at Watkins Glen, crew chief Kenny Francis will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-802. Kahne drove this car to a sixth-place finish at Sonoma in June.
BACKWARD PIT STOPS: Kahne and other Cup drivers will enter pit road from the opposite direction on Sunday, and that will give the No. 5 and 24 pit crews a reverse view of the stop. Pit coach Chris Burkey plans to maintain momentum by leaving their front-tire changer/carrier combo and rear-tire changer/carrier combo in the same spots on the wall. The athletes will pit different parts of the car, but their movements will remain the same.
WATKINS GLEN DOUBLE DUTY: In addition to his duties behind the wheel of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS this weekend at Watkins Glen, Kahne will pilot JR Motorsports’ No. 5 Chevrolet in the 200.9-mile NASCAR event on Saturday afternoon.
HENDRICK AT WATKINS GLEN: In 27 races (92 starts) at Watkins Glen, Hendrick Motorsports has six wins, 18 top-five finishes and 33 top-10s. Gordon ranks second on the all-time win list at WGI with four victories. Jeff Gordon earned Hendrick Motorsports’ most recent victory at the road course when he won the 2001 event.
SEASON-TO-DATE: In the first 21 Cup races of the season, Hendrick Motorsports drivers have tallied six victories (Johnson with four and Kahne with two) and nine runner-up results (Kahne has three, while Earnhardt, Johnson and Gordon have two apiece). The Hendrick Motorsports teammates rank inside the top 10 in the driver standings. Johnson is first, followed by fifth-place Earnhardt, eighth-place Kahne and ninth-place Gordon.
KASEY KAHNE, DRIVER, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS (ON GAINING MORE CONFIDENCE AFTER EARNING HIS SECOND WIN OF THE SEASON AT POCONO RACEWAY.): “It gives me confidence and gives the whole team confidence – Kenny (Francis, crew chief), the pit crew guys and everybody that’s part of it. It closes the gap. If we finish in the top 10 and get into the Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup), it will be closer to Matt (Kenseth) and Jimmie (Johnson) who already have four wins so I think wins are key for sure. Then just for our points, I mean the Chase is what it’s all about in NASCAR. You need to make it for the sponsors and for the teams. We’ve been right there on the edge with kind of the way our summer went so it was nice to get two wins. It gives us much more hope going in. We’ll just start a lot closer.”
KENNY FRANCIS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS (ON HOW THE BENEFIT OF HAVING TWO WINS SO FAR THIS SEASON.): “It gives you a little more flexibility to be able to take more risks in the upcoming races. You’ve already got your two wins. There is a good chance you’re going to make the Chase either way, so now you can maybe take a little more risk. Now you’ve got something to fall back on now. So definitely having another win gives you some more opportunity to play a little different strategy or take a chance on your set up in the upcoming races.”