Kahne Finishes 19th at Phoenix Raceway

The No. 5 Farmers Insurance team scored a 19th-place finish in Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway after rolling off the grid 17th. It was the 37-year-old’s 27th career start at the one-mile speedway located in Avondale, Arizona.

Date: Sunday, November 12, 2017
Event: Can-Am 500
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Phoenix International Raceway (one-mile oval)
Start/Finish: 17th/19th (Completed 311 of 312 laps)

During the race’s opening laps, Kahne, a previous winner at Phoenix, was quiet on the radio as he tried to feel out a car that had been very strong in practice. After 16 laps, Kahne reported that the No. 5 Chevy was too loose and that he needed some help with the turns. He spent the remainder of the stage adjusting the track bar, searching for improvements while battling a No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet with “zero grip.” As a result, he took the green-white-checkered flag in the 25th position, one lap down.

Between stages 1 and 2, crew chief Darian Grubb told Kahne that the team was going to make some adjustments and help improve the car during a routine four-tire pit stop. After restarting 25th, Kahne advanced his position by two spots mid-way through the stage. Prior to Stage 2 coming to an end, Kahne informed Grubb that his Farmers Insurance Chevy was struggling in the corners. He moved two positions back to 25th when the stage ended under caution due to an incident on the track.

After pitting for fresh tires, fuel and an adjustment, Kahne started the race’s final segment in 24th, two laps down. Still battling a loose-handling condition, Kahne returned to pit road during a caution for more adjustments. However, the No. 5 Chevy was penalized for exiting pit road too fast and was sent to the rear of the field for the ensuing restart. Kahne worked his way back to 25th when a red flag halted the race due to a safer barrier catching on fire. After the red flag was lifted, Kahne went to work and, with the help of two additional cautions, found himself back inside the top-20 with a much-improved No. 5 Chevy.

Ultimately, Kahne and the Farmers Insurance team took the checkered flag 19th. The closing laps proved to be the best for the team, however they ran out of time to make their way to the top-10.

-Hendrick Motorsports-