Box Score Info:
Race: NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; AAA 400 Drive for Autism
Track: Dover International Speedway
Driver: Kasey Kahne
Car: No. 95 Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Points Position: 149 total points for the season; currently 27th in the driver point standings
- Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams traveled to the concrete 1.0-mile track, Dover International Speedway, for Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism. The track nicknamed “The Monster Mile” is unique in the fact that it’s a high-banked track where cars almost seem to drop into the corners due to the loads of force. Kasey Kahne and his No. 95 team entered the weekend eager to unload and get a strong feeling for their Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Camaro ZL1, but due to lengthy delays for teams in tech lines, on-track time in Friday’s practice session was limited. With only two runs under their belts before qualifying, the No. 95 team tried their best to get their race car the best starting position they could with the limited information they were able to get. Two practice sessions on Saturday let the team work on longer runs in race trim, and they ended the day feeling confident looking ahead to the race.
- Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism took the green at 2:01 p.m. EST as the 40-car field began Stage 1 of the race. Kahne started from 25th in his No. 95 Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Camaro ZL1. Kahne told his crew chief Travis Mack early on “it feels good so far” as the No. 95 steadily improved to 18th before a caution came out on lap 21. Under the yellow, Kahne was able to further explain how his race car was handling, and Mack called for four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment under the yellow flag. The Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Camaro ZL1 restarted in 21st after teams had opted for varying pit strategies under the caution. Over the next run, Kahne was told that he was running fast lap times as he told his team “the front’s good, but I’m just lacking rear grip.” Mack told his driver that they appeared to be two laps short of making it until the end of Stage 1, and asked his driver to work on saving fuel so that they could stretch it to the caution. The strategy paid off, and Kahne improved to 12th before Stage 1 ended following lap 120.
- After coming in for four tires and fuel, the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Camaro ZL1 restarted in 12th as Stage 2 took the green flag to begin lap 128. Over the next run, Kahne told his team “it’s a different car right now” and a caution at lap 153 allowed the team to pit for fresh tires and fuel. Kahne continued to battle for all that he could, but on lap 178 he dipped into 18th as he radioed in that he was fighting the right-front of the car as it had started to lose grip in the front and rear of the car.
- Stage 2 ended following lap 240 with Kahne scored in 20th and the team eager to make several adjustments under the caution. Since the team was one lap down to the leaders due to the long green-flag run, taking the time to make adjustments that took a little longer to make, was the right call in order to help get the handling back to where it needed to be.
- Stage 3 took the green on lap 249, and just a few laps into the stage, Kahne told his team that the No. 95 Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Camaro ZL1 “felt good again.” The team continued to work on adjustments and strategies in order to help get Kahne back up in the “lucky dog” position.
- Even though he was trapped a lap down to the race leaders, Kahne improved to 18th by lap 292 and was in the right spot at the right time when a caution came out for rain during lap 316. The Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Camaro ZL1 was named the “lucky dog,” but cars were immediately brought down pit road as the red flag was displayed for just over 41 minutes.
- Once the track was dry, the race returned to caution conditions, and Kahne was given his lap back before Mack called him in for four tires and service before the restart. The race returned to green on lap 325 with Kahne running in 17th with 75 laps remaining at the one-mile track. Despite tight-handling conditions that started to appear following the restart, Kahne was able to maintain his positioning over the final green-flag run to earn his second consecutive 17th-place finish. The finish improved Kahne two positions in the driver point standings up to 27th.
- Kevin Harvick tamed the Monster Mile Sunday afternoon as he earned his fourth win of the season in the process. Clint Bowyer, Daniel Suarez, Martin Truex, Jr., and Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five finishers Sunday as the series travels to Kansas Speedway next weekend.
2018 Season Summary:
Starts - 11
Wins - 0
Top 5’s - 0
Top 10’s - 0
Poles - 0
KC Masterpiece 400
Kansas Speedway (1.5-mile track)
Kansas City, KS
Saturday, May 12, 2018