Fifth for Kahne and the No. 5 Team at Talladega
This weekend at Talladega Superspeedway marked the second restrictor plate race of the season for the NASCAR Cup Series and Kasey Kahne. The Series had two practice sessions scheduled for Friday, but Kahne and the No. 5 UniFirst team only managed to get one run completed before the skies opened up cancelling track activity for the remainder of the day. On Saturday, the Enumclaw, Washington, native qualified the UniFirst Chevrolet SS 19th for today’s 500-mile race. Kahne’s starting position didn’t stop him from having a strong run at Talladega. He ran as high as the third position in the UniFirst Chevrolet before he took the checkered flag fifth.
Date: Sunday, May 7, 2017
Event: Talladega 500
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Talladega Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Start/Finish: 19th/22nd (Completed 191 of 191 laps
When the green flag flew at Talladega, Kahne worked different lines during Stage 1 and reached the top 10 before slipping back and ending the stage in the 21st position. During the stage break pit stop, the UniFirst crew made adjustments to the No. 5 machine to help the car’s handling. After starting Stage 2 on Lap 62, Kahne quickly worked his way back up into the top 15, and went on to complete the stage in eighth. A quick pit stop by the UniFirst pit crew before the final stage started gained Kahne two positions on pit road. He restarted sixth on Lap 117 and in typical superspeedway fashion, he jockeyed for various positions. With 44 laps remaining, Kahne along with his Hendrick Motorsports teammates made a scheduled green-flag pit stop. Kahne received two right-side tires and fuel, and once the remainder of the field cycled through pit stops, Kahne was in the fourth position with 36 laps to go in the race. He remained in the top 10 until he was shuffled back on the Lap 174 restart. Just a few laps later a multi-car accident occurred in front of the 37-year-old driver and he narrowly avoided the cars spinning in front of him. The red flag was displayed bringing the race to halt for over 20 minutes. Once the field took the green flag again, Kahne quickly worked his way back into the top five. The final caution of the race occurred with three laps to go and sent the event into overtime. Kahne lined up in the fourth position for the final green flag and ultimately finished in the fifth position in the No. 5 UniFirst Chevrolet. Kahne was today’s highest finishing Hendrick Motorsports entry, and he earned his second top-five of the season.
Kasey Kahne on Talladega:
“We had a great run in the UniFirst Chevy today. It was a brand-new car and we got a good, solid top five finish. Thanks to the guys for all of their hard work. The closer we got to the front, the better the car was, and we ran up there throughout the last half of the race, so that was good. It was a strong performance for our UniFirst team.”