Kahne Finishes 19th In Sunday’s Rain-Delayed New Hampshire Race
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams made the trek up to New England and New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the series visit to “The Magic Mile” this weekend. Kasey Kahne and his No. 95 Thorne Wellness team earned the 26th starting position for Sunday’s race during Friday’s qualifying session but showed speed in their Camaro ZL1 during Saturday’s opening practice session. After rain showers in the area delayed the start of the race for over three hours later than the amended 1:00pm ET start time, Kahne and the team worked through various adjustments during the race to get the Thorne Chevy to a 19th-place finish Sunday evening.
· Sunday’s Foxwoods Casino 301 eventually took the green flag at 4:24 p.m. EST and NASCAR had told teams that there would be a competition caution following lap 35 due to the rain earlier in the day. The Thorne Chevy started from 26th, but in the opening laps of the race, Kahne drove his way up to 23rd before the first caution came at lap 16. Crew chief Jon Leonard checked in with his driver under the yellow flag, and Kahne told the team that the No. 95 machine was “turning really well,” but was a little free so far in the race.
· The team stayed out under the caution and Kahne lined up in 22nd for the restart. Kahne drove up to 19th by lap 25, but when the competition caution came following lap 35, the Thorne Camaro ZL1 had settled in to 21st at the time. Leonard called his driver down pit road and the crew serviced the car with four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment. Kahne lined up 23rd for the restart, but some cars had stayed out since they had hit pit road for tires under the first caution. Kahne moved up into 17th on lap 45 before a caution for debris came at lap 53.
· Once the race returned to green on lap 56, Kahne told the team that the No. 95 had gotten “freer in” following the adjustments on the team’s first stop. When Stage 1 ended following lap 75, Kahne was able to provide further details to Leonard in regard to the Thorne Chevy’s handling. The longer the No. 95 ran, the tighter the car got was the overall feedback from Kahne, so the team opted to go back on the air pressure adjustments and made a wedge adjustment during their four-tire stop.
· Kahne restarted in 19th to begin Stage 2 and lap 83 of the race, but over the next run, he dipped back into 25th. On lap 112, Kahne called in over the team radio that the Thorne Chevy was turning better in the center at the time even though it was loose. Kahne also told the team that the No. 95 had better drive off when the trackbar was down.
· Stage 2 ended following lap 150 and Kahne ended up in the “lucky dog” position when the flags were displayed. After getting back onto the lead lap, Kahne asked the team to help him to get the drive off the corner that he needed. The team serviced the car with another four-tire stop with wedge and air pressure adjustments before lining up in 25th for the restart.
· On lap 185, Kahne radioed in to the team that the “drive off is definitely better,” but by lap 225, he asked the team for more turn in the center of the corners. Green-flag pit stops began to cycle on lap 225 and Leonard called his driver in for service on lap 239 for a four-tire stop. Once the field had all hit pit road for service, the Thorne Chevy cycled back into 23rd at the time.
· A caution at lap 258 allowed the team to take the wavearound in order to help improve their track position. Kahne had told the team under the yellow, that even though the Thorne Chevy was getting snug, the car felt “pretty good overall.” Kahne restarted 21st to start lap 263, and by lap 274, he moved into 19th where he maintained that positioning until the checkered flag waved.
· Kevin Harvick drove off with the win Sunday claiming his sixth win of the season. Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, Martin Truex, Jr., and Chase Elliott rounded out the top-five finishers at New Hampshire, while Kahne was scored with 19th.
Box Score Info:
RACE: NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; Foxwoods Resort Casino 301
TRACK: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
DRIVER: Kasey Kahne
CAR: No. 95 Thorne Camaro ZL1
POINTS POSITION: 26th