Kasey Kahne surges to trucks win in Rockingham return

: Kasey Kahne, driver of the #4 Rockwell Tools Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 at Rockingham Speedway on April 15, 2012 in Rockingham, North Carolina. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
: Kasey Kahne, driver of the #4 Rockwell Tools Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 at Rockingham Speedway on April 15, 2012 in Rockingham, North Carolina. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. — Kasey Kahne capped a successful weekend of triple-duty Sunday afternoon, winning the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 to mark NASCAR’s return to Rockingham Speedway for the first time since 2004.

Kahne — who finished seventh in the Sprint Cup Series on Saturday and third in the Nationwide Series on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway — surged to the front in the 155th lap of 200 to notch his fourth win in five starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

James Buescher finished second with Matt Crafton third and Johnny Sauter fourth. Timothy Peters jumped into the series’ points lead with a combination of a fifth-place finish and an early wreck for teammate John King, the Daytona winner who led the points coming in.

Brad Sweet qualified the No. 4 truck fifth, but Kahne had to start at the rear of the field because of the driver change. Even with traveling from Fort Worth overnight, getting approximately 4 1/2 hours of sleep and having no track time in preparation for the race, Kahne was poised to pounce in the late stages.

“This is probably the best weekend I’ve had in a long time,” Kahne said. “I got out of that truck and I’ve got three clean race cars and I ran three hard races this weekend, and everything’s clean — not a dent on ’em. . . . It was a good weekend, tons of energy, and I’ll sleep good tonight when I finally decide to go to bed.”

Kahne played a prominent part in NASCAR’s last race here, when Matt Kenseth edged him at the line for a Sprint Cup Series victory. The memory of that race was on his mind when he returned to the mile oval.

“I’ve watched it on video and I can run it through my head and remember so many things about how that race finished,” Kahne said. “Those are kind of the memories that I have.”

Until now. Kahne withstood Buescher’s last-ditch effort on a restart with 20 laps left and had nowhere near as close a finish as last time around. Kahne was a comfortable 1.478 seconds ahead at the checkered flag.

Pole-starter Nelson Piquet Jr. — Kahne’s next-closest competition — dominated the early stages of the race, leading 85 of the race’s first 100 laps. But Piquet became mired in traffic after a lengthy pit stop shuffled him back to fifth during the third of the race’s four cautions.

He worked his way back to second place until incurring a pit-road speeding penalty during the final caution period. He rallied to finish seventh.

John King’s grasp on the series’ points lead fizzled early in the race, when he spun and nosed into the inside wall on the backstretch on Lap 4 to bring out the race’s first caution. King returned to the track after repairs, but wound up completing 56 laps and finishing 33rd, dropping him seven spots to eighth in the standings.


1.  (5) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 200, $29,000.
2. (16) James Buescher, Chevrolet, 200, $23,840.
3.  (8) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 200, $17,285.
4. (10) Johnny Sauter, Toyota, 200, $17,400.
5.  (3) Timothy Peters, Toyota, 200, $12,200.
6. (17) Joey Coulter, Chevrolet, 200, $10,450.
7.  (1) Nelson Piquet Jr., Chevrolet, 200, $14,500.
8. (12) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 200, $11,250.
9.  (6) Parker Kligerman, RAM, 200, $10,200.
10. (19) Justin Lofton, Chevrolet, 200, $11,425.
11. (27) Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 200, $10,100.
12. (22) Ron Hornaday Jr., Chevrolet, 200, $7,725.
13. (21) David Starr, Toyota, 200, $7,675.
14. (11) Dakoda Armstrong, Toyota, 199, $7,625.
15. (23) Miguel Paludo, Chevrolet, 198, $10,850.
16. (29) Timothy George Jr., Chevrolet, 198, $9,700.
17. (13) Cale Gale, Chevrolet, 197, $9,650.
18. (15) Max Gresham, Chevrolet, 197, $9,600.
19. (18) David Reutimann, Chevrolet, 197, $7,300.
20. (20) John Wes Townley, Toyota, 197, $7,750.
21. (24) Caleb Holman, Chevrolet, 197, $7,350.
22. (32) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 197, $9,450.
23. (30) Brennan Newberry, Chevrolet, 197, $7,175.
24. (28) Jason White, Ford, 196, $9,400.
25. (14) Ross Chastain, Toyota, 196, $9,500.
26.  (2) Paulie Harraka, Ford, 195, $9,325.
27. (36) Jeff Agnew, Chevrolet, 195, $7,000.
28. (26) Tyler Young, Chevrolet, 193, $6,975.
29. (33) Chris Cockrum, Chevrolet, 193, $7,925.
30. (35) Norm Benning, Chevrolet, 189, $8,400.
31.  (7) Todd Bodine, Toyota, 135, $6,855.
32. (31) Bryan Silas, Ford, Accident, 119, $6,800.
33. (25) John King, Toyota, Accident, 56, $6,775.
34.  (4) Jason Leffler, Toyota, Engine, 19, $6,750.
35. (34) Johnny Chapman, Toyota, Clutch, 13, $6,725.
36.  (9) Grant Enfinger, Chevrolet, Transmission, 12, $6,702.


Average Speed of Race Winner: 107.239 mph.
Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 51 Mins, 54 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.478 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 4 for 25 laps.
Lead Changes: 7 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: N. Piquet Jr. 1-67; M. Crafton 68-82; N. Piquet Jr. 83-108; M. Crafton 109; N. Piquet Jr. 110-123; T. Peters 124-130; M. Crafton 131-154; K. Kahne 155-200.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  N. Piquet Jr. 3 times for 107 laps; K. Kahne 1 time for 46 laps; M. Crafton 3 times for 40 laps; T. Peters 1 time for 7 laps.
Top 10 in Points: T. Peters – 121; J. Lofton – 115; T. Dillon – 114; J. Buescher – 111; P. Kligerman – 101; N. Piquet Jr. – 100; J. White – 94; J. King – 93; R. Hornaday Jr. – 90; D. Starr – 84.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 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.