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Kasey Kahne optimistic heading into Sunday race
Kasey Kahne is oozing with optimism going into Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Price Chopper 400 from Kansas Speedway.
"We ran pretty good at Chicago and they’re kind of similar tracks," Kahne said of the 1.5-mile, D-shaped oval. He finished third at Chicago in July. In five starts at Kansas, he has one pole and one Top 10 finish. "Our cars have been getting better throughout the year. They’re in pretty good shape right now and we should run pretty strong out there. I feel like we have a great team and should be good at Kansas."
Television coverage on the Plateau begins at 10 a.m. on ABC.
In the 12-man race for the Sprint Cup title, Kahne sits in 12th after finishing 38th in the first of the 10-race shootout in New Hampshire. He followed it up Sunday with an eighth-place finish at Dover International Speedway.
In the race for the crown, it all counts.
"You have to go all out and get every point that you possibly can and the only way to get a lot of points is to win," Kahne said. "To win a championship, you can’t be conservative. There’s no way that you’re going to pull it off being conservative. We had an issue with our car on Sunday throughout the race that happened 40 to 50 laps into it. I drove every lap like it was the last lap. The entire race, our car was bouncing off the race track.
"The only shot that you’ve got is to drive your heart out and have your team step up and do their part, otherwise Jimmie Johnson is going to walk all over us."
Mark Martin currently leads the title race, but three-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson is just 10 points behind. Kahne sits 189 points behind the leader.
Without looking too far down the track, he's glad to see California, Oct. 11, on the horizon.
"Fontana is a good place for us," he said. "I like Fontana. The track has always treated us really well with results. We seem to have a pretty good package there every time we go with Kenny Francis (crew chief) and the things that he does there."
Kahne likes a number of the remaining tracks: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Phoenix and Homestead-MiamiSpeedway.
"That’s the whole thing; I think we run pretty good in these Chase races," he said. "I think we have as good a shot as anybody at these tracks because they’re tracks I enjoy and we’ve always raced pretty well at. If you have an issue, you lose points. If I didn’t have an issue (in New Hampshire), I think that I would have run in the Top 10 in both races and these upcoming races we can do the same thing. We have a great package for most of these tracks. I think we'll do it, we just need to keep pulling it together and get these points back. I think we have a shot at getting a lot of them back."