Kasey Kahne recovers from early issues to run fourth

Kasey Kahne. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

HAMPTON, Ga. – Atlanta Motor Speedway is a track that has given Kasey Kahne three of his 17 career victories, but the start of Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 was anything but auspicious for the driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Kahne started 29th, and early handling problems caused him to lose a lap to race leader Kevin Harvick. But astute adjustments to the car by crew chief Keith Rodden enabled Kahne to regain the lost lap, and a lightning-fast pit stop late in the race put him in position to claim a fourth-place finish.

“We got behind early and just battled and battled,” said Kahne, who posted his best result since a third-place run last October at Charlotte. “Had to battle (Matt) Kenseth for a long time for the lucky dog, and he got it and he drove to the front. I knew he was really good. We just got a lot better. The adjustments were spot on. If we didn’t have those, we would have been two or three laps down.”

In the end, the quality work of Kahne’s crew made a crucial difference.

“The pit stops were really solid, and then our final pit stop was the best stop we had all day at the perfect time,” Kahne said. “That put us in row three (for a restart with 11 laps left), and we were able to get to fourth.

“It was a great race. Our Farmers Insurance Chevrolet really came alive. It was good. It was fun. It was quite the battle. Five hundred miles at Atlanta is a long time to run right on the wall or right on the white line and switch it up.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.