Kasey Kahne Wins in Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, NC — In his 300th career start Kasey Kahne picked up his 3rd win in the Coca-Cola 600 and his first win for Hendrick Motorsports on Sunday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
It didn’t take Kahne long to get to victory lane, this was the fastest Coca-Cola 600 ever, just over three hours and 51 minutes. Only five caution flags, four of them for debris, helped set the record pace for the race.
Kahne was able to get by Denny Hamlin on lap 333 and managed to hold off Hamlin and cruise to a nearly five-second margin of victory. The win for Kahne completes the turn around in the 2012 season for the No. 5 team. In the first six races of the season Kasey Kahne had compiled an average finish of 28th. In the last six races Kahne hasn’t finished outside of the top ten.
“I never really doubted myself. I was upset at some of the things that may have happened,” Kahne said. “It feels good to get a win for Hendrick Motorsports. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to, for a year and a half, to drive for Hendrick Motorsports.”
Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch finished second and third.
“Proud day for our FedEx team. Everything was executed great today, the pit calls, getting on and off pit road, the pit crew themselves. We had a very, very solid day.” Hamlin said.
“The M&M guys, Dave Rogers, did an awesome job giving me a really good racecar. Didn’t quite have enough near the end.” Kyle Busch commented about his race.
The concern some are expressing about the lack of action in the Sprint Cup series races is partly the blame of the points system. Some drivers, Hamlin in particular, believe that points racing is the blame.
“I think that some people got hurt by crashes early on in the year last year and they weren’t able to recover simply because these races going green, there’s not as many wrecks.” Hamlin said.
“I think everyone just recognizes the points system and sees how it works. Second year on it. We know you finish in the 30’s, it’s almost like not even showing up. Five points, that’s not much” Hamlin added.
The way to turn around a poor season is as simple as what Kasey Kahne was able to do in the last six weeks, finish in the top ten.
With the win Kahne moves into 15th in the point standings. Greg Biffle is still the points leader, followed by Matt Kenseth. Denny Hamlin is in third, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is fourth and Jimmie Johnson is in fifth.
The Sprint Cup series heads to Dover International Speedway next Sunday for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.
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