With seven races remaining in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Kasey Kahne ranks sixth in the championship standings. He trails leader Brad Keselowski by 32 points.
2012 SEASON-TO-DATE STATS: Kahne has scored two wins, nine top-five finishes and 15 top-10s in 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup events this season. To date, he is the season’s best qualifier with an average starting position of ninth. Kahne ranks second to teammate Jimmie Johnson for speed late in a run and holds third with 568 fastest laps so far in 2012. Kahne also has posted the third-best average green-flag speed this season.
KAHNE AT TALLADEGA: In 17 Sprint Cup starts at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Kahne has recorded three top-five finishes and four top-10s. He has led 40 laps at the high-banked oval. Kahne recorded a fourth-place result in the May event at the Alabama oval and finished sixth in this race one year ago.
SUPERSPEEDWAY STATS: In 35 starts at the restrictor-plate tracks of Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, Kahne has recorded a combined five top-five finishes and 11 top-10s. He has earned three consecutive top-10 finishes in Daytona’s July event and back-to-back top-10s at Talladega. Three of Kahne’s 14 career wins happened on tracks two miles or longer – Fontana, Calif., Michigan International Speedway and Pocono Raceway.
CHASSIS CHOICE: For Sunday’s race, crew chief Kenny Francis will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-703. Kahne has raced this car to two top-10 finishes at superspeedways this season. Kahne scored a fourth-place result at Talladega in May and crossed the line seventh at Daytona in July. Kahne qualified inside the top five at both events with this car.
HENDRICK AT TALLADEGA: In 57 events (182 starts) at Talladega, Hendrick Motorsports has 11 wins, 46 top-five finishes and 69 top-10s. Seven of the organization’s wins have happened after its drivers started the race ninth or better. In the team’s most recent Talladega win, Dale Earnhardt Jr. pushed Jimmie Johnson to Victory Lane in April 2011. Johnson, the outside pole sitter, matched the closest margin of victory recorded — .002 seconds — since the use of electronic scoring.
RUNNER-UP STREAK: Jeff Gordon kept Hendrick Motorsports’ streak of second-place finishes intact by taking runner-up honors on Sept. 30 at Dover. Currently, the organization has six straight runner-up results, dating back to Aug. 25 when Johnson finished second at Bristol (Tenn.). In 29 races this season, the four Hendrick teammates have combined to record 12 runner-up finishes.
HENDRICK IN THE CHASE: During the first three races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the four championship-contending teammates have averaged a finish of 8.6. Johnson, ranked second in the standings, leads his teammates with an average finish of 2.7.
KASEY KAHNE, DRIVER, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET (ON TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY.): “Talladega is really the biggest wild card in the Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup). Almost everyone has a shot at the win, but you can be out of the running early, too. We’re going into the weekend with a couple of good superspeedway finishes this year, and the guys at the shop put together awesome restrictor-plate cars. If we can stay out of trouble, we should have a solid day.”