Fifth-place Bristol finish pushes Kahne up three spots in standings

Enumclaw NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kasey Kahne posted a fifth-place finish Sunday at the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee, picking up his fourth consecutive finish of 12th place or better.

“The car went away a touch there at the end of that last segment of the race, but it was still a good run for our Budweiser Dodge Charger today,” Kahne said in post-race comments. “The guys did a great job in the pits. Kenny (Francis, crew chief) gave me a solid car all day and we ended up with a top-five run and another great day in the points. Today was a good day for us.”

Kahne and the No. 9 Budweiser Dodge qualified fifth as well. Kahne’s top Bristol finish came in August 2007 when he started from the pole and led 305 of the 500-lap event before finishing second, a career-best.

Kyle Busch won Sunday’s race.

Kahne jumped three spots in Sprint Cup drivers’ points standings to sixth. Jeff Gordon leads the series.

“I’m real happy with where our points are right now,” Kahne said during an interview earlier in the week. “Our whole Budweiser team has done a great job just getting the most points we could every race. The first three (races), we weren’t quite as good and then Atlanta, we were good and got a great finish.

“We’ve made gains the last two weeks,” he said. “The first three races, I felt like we were on the edge and not sure really what way we were going. The last two weeks, everybody at Petty Motorsports has done an awesome job on this Budweiser Dodge Charger and we’ve made some nice gains.”

Sprint Cup racing continues Sunday with another short track, this one at Martinsville, Va., Speedway. Television coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. on FOX.

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