MARTINSVILLE, Va. — The frustrations of Hendrick newbie Kasey Kahne compounded Sunday when an engine failure eliminated the pole-winning No. 5 Chevy from the race after 256 laps.
Kahne finished 38th and dropped to 31st in the Cup standings.
“We had a great (car),” a frustrated Kahne said. “Really fast — and the best I’ve ever been here. The engine was running great, and we were just battling a little loose (handling condition).
“It was fun driving, and we had a small engine problem that turned into a big one on the backstretch and just shut off. I had oil on my tires when I hit pit road. I didn’t want to oil the surface for all the guys out there, so I just shot to the pits and went spinning. It wasn’t a big deal, because I didn’t hit anything — luckily.
That was about the only lucky thing that happened to the star-crossed driver, who has but one top-15 finish in his first six starts in a Hendrick car.
“I’m upset that we haven’t run great this year,” Kahne said, “but we are great on Friday and Saturday, we were fast again today, and we have the speed — so when it’s our time, we’ll be ready to take advantage of it.”