Kahne Leads Laps at Daytona; Late-Race Caution Leaves Team with 18th-Place Finish

Kasey Kahne returned to Daytona International Speedway where he had a seventh-place finish in the season-opening race. In this weekend’s practice sessions, Kahne worked on single-car runs and drafting with his Hendrick Motorsports teammates. On Friday, the 37-year-old qualified the UniFirst Chevrolet in the fourth position. After leading 12 laps late in the race, Kahne was shuffled back in the closing laps and ultimately finished 18th in the No. 5 UniFirst Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports.

Date: Saturday, July 1, 2017
Event: Firecracker 400
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Daytona International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Start/Finish: Fourth/18th (Completed 163 of 163 laps

During Stage 1, Kahne visited pit road once and reported his No. 5 machine was handling well before he ended the stage in the 14th position. The Enumclaw, Washington, native started Stage 2 on Lap 46 in the fourth spot and he reached third on Lap 53. After working the various racing grooves, Kahne took over the second spot on Lap 56 and went on to finish Stage 2 in seventh. He visited pit road during the stage break and restarted 20th in the UniFirst Chevy and worked his way up to the top 10.

During the Lap 98 caution, Kahne visited pit road after making slight contact with a competitor. He restarted 23rd on Lap 102, and on Lap 106 Kahne was involved in a multi-car accident. He visited pit road three times for repairs and restarted 28th on Lap 111. It only took Kahne two laps to reach the top 12, and he was in the sixth position on Lap 120 when he spun and brought out the caution. Kahne remained calm and visited pit road for service before restarting 27th on Lap 125. Doing just as he had done several times throughout the evening, Kahne quickly reached the top 10 on Lap 128. On Lap 136, Kahne took over the first position in the UniFirst Chevy and led 12 laps. After slipping back a few spots from the lead, Kahne reported his No. 5 machine had picked up a loose handling condition during the Lap 153 caution. After a brief red flag, Kahne restarted 15th with three laps to go in the scheduled 160-lap race. A late-race caution sent the race into overtime and Kahne ended the night in the 18th position

-Hendrick Motorsports-