By Stephanie Adair – @KaseyKahne and his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team have struggled through most of the 2014 season. In the first 10 races, they claimed three top-10s but also four finishes outside of the top-20.
Reasons for the inconsistency range from mechanical issues to simple bad luck, which has kept Kahne looking the odd man out as his HMS teammates sit in the top seven in points while he’s 16th. However, their season may be about to change.
In the last two races (Kansas and Talladega), Kahne has captured two top-10 finishes, including his first top-five of the season two weeks ago at the 1.5-mile track of Kansas Speedway. The 34-year-old elaborated after the race about his team’s performance so far.
“…We’ve just been slow this season… We tested here (at Kansas Speedway), we had that Goodyear tire test, and I felt like from that point on, we’ve actually had really fast cars … we were able to try some things and just look at stuff a little differently than what we had been, and it helped the 5 team,” Kahne said. “And our communication together. It’s helped us a lot since then. I feel like that’s been the key, and ever since we tested here, we’ve ran much better and been a lot more competitive.”
The No. 5 team certainly looks to be competitive as they prepare to compete at Charlotte Motor Speedway this week in the Coca-Cola 600, where Kahne’s statistics, at another 1.5-mile facility, have always been impressive. In the last five races at the speedway, the driver has placed in the top-five four times, including a victory in 2012. Additionally, his last two visits resulted in runner up efforts.
A victory this weekend would give the team good momentum, as well as a spot in the Chase. Starting third on Sunday, look for Kasey Kahne to be more competitive as the season progresses.
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