In preparation for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and revised rules that affect race car development and on-track testing, Hendrick Motorsports has named Kenny Francis to the new position of vehicle technical director and Keith Rodden as crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet SS team of driver Kasey Kahne. The roles take effect immediately.
Kasey Kahne has been consistent during the past six races at Homestead. In those events he earned three top-10s, one other top-15, and a 17th.
Depending on which stat and trend a fantasy player considers, Kasey Kahne could be a great dark horse this week or a driver to avoid. Two of his last four Phoenix efforts ended in top-fives and he has one other 11th. His latest three attempts on short, flat tracks all ended outside the top 15, however.
Kasey Kahne posted the quickest 10-lap average in the first practice session for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500k. His best time was a 135.654 mph from his laps 11 through 20.
NASCAR has assessed penalties to crew members from the No. 5 and No. 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams for their involvement in post-race incidents on Nov. 2 at Texas Motor Speedway. In addition, the crew chiefs from those two teams also have been penalized.
In nine races on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks this year, Kasey Kahne has earned eight top-15s. Five of these were top-10s, but he barely missed that mark at Texas this spring and finished 11th in the Duck Commander 500.
Kasey Kahne qualified 24th for the Goody's 500. This will be the third consecutive race at Martinsville for which he will start in the mid-20s.
Kasey Kahne raced to a 12th-place finish in the Geico 500, but missed the Chase by three points. He was one of three Hendrick Motorsports drivers who were eliminated in the Contender round along with Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
As one of the four drivers currently below the elimination bubble to qualify for the Eliminator round, Kasey Kahne needs a solid performance at Charlotte. He qualified 19th for Saturday night’s race, which places him immediately behind Brad Keselowski and in front of teammate Jimmie Johnson—two of the other three drivers who finished badly last week at Kansas.
Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. saw their days end in accidents. Jeff Gordon lost the chance to finish in the top five after scraping the wall, and Kasey Kahne completed the Hendrick Motorsports sweep when he slammed the SAFER barrier on a late-race restart.
Kasey Kahne is riding an 11-race streak of top-15s on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks. He finished 12th in last year’s Geico 400 at Chicagoland and has not slowed down since.
Kasey Kahne had one of the fastest cars early in the AAA 400, but a loose wheel forced him to pit out of sequence. At one point during the race, he was four laps behind the leaders, but he managed to climb back to 20th in the rundown and advance to the Contender round.
Kasey Kahne will race chassis No. 5-820 at Dover in the AAA 400. It has been raced four times previously this season.
Kasey Kahne’s Atlanta Oral-B 500 victory is beginning to look more like a distant memory with each passing race. He finished 23rd in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire and slipped to 11th in the Chase rankings. Only 12 drivers will advance to the second round after Dover.