Kasey Kahne started his first year at Hendrick Motorsports in a hole in 2012. With two victories, he was able to get into the Chase anyways and was fourth in the title fight. Even with that success, that doesn’t mean Kahne wants to repeat that, and after Sunday’s win, he knows he is in a better position after four races in 2013.
“The championship is still a long ways away, but I think a good start. Just off to a much better start than last year. Feel good about that. We got a little behind at the start of the season and fought back clearly in the last two weeks and got back to a good spot. So I feel good about where we’re at, feel good about the speed of our car and our team, and that’s what it’s all about is just being on the right page, same page with all the guys. Right now we’re really working well together and enjoying it, and we have some momentum and confidence after Bristol and really looking forward to Fontana,” Kahne told reporters on a conference call Tuesday.
The season started with disappointment in Daytona with a 36th place finish.
“Daytona one was kind of tough on me. I’ve never had a car that fast at Daytona, at any race at Daytona, and especially the Daytona 500. That was tough to figure that out and understand how I ended up crashing when we were running single file around the top just kind of waiting because that’s all you could do with that package is you just kind of wait until later on to race,” said Kahne.
Then it looked like 2012 was repeating itself after Phoenix.
“Phoenix we just missed it a little bit. I missed it probably with some of my feedback on the car, and we just didn’t get it done at Phoenix. So that one wasn’t as bad because we just I think that was we worked hard and just didn’t hit on it, and then in the last two weeks we’ve been fast and have stepped up and finished the deal both weeks and been right there going for the win,” recalled Kahne.
Las Vegas was a rebound for Kahne and the #5 Hendrick Motorsports team as he led laps and came up just short to race winner Matt Kenseth. Building off that strong run, Kahne found victory lane at Bristol.
“Yeah, 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. Yeah, I feel really good about where we’re at right now, and the momentum is huge. Confidence, momentum, from the driver to the pit crew to the crew chief, I mean, every aspect of putting our car on the track, I think when you have momentum and confidence it helps,” said Kahne.
With momentum, and even more important, confidence on his side Kahne looks to have another strong run this weekend at the Auto Club Speedway.