Kahne sits 10th for NASCAR finale

With the season finale slated for Sunday afternoon at Homestead-Miami Motorspeedway, Enumclaw’s Kasey Kahne sits 10th in NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers’ points.

He finished 15th Sunday in Phoenix.

“Overall, (it was) a pretty good day for our Budweiser Dodge,” said Kahne, who had one of the fastest times in practice and started fourth.

“Track position was so important today and we just couldn’t get the car balanced like we needed to stay up front with the leaders as the race wore on. We were running inside the top 10 for nearly 150 laps and then we just fought a front-end issue that we couldn’t fix. At one point in the race, I felt like I could feel every crack in the racetrack and with such long green flag runs today, if your car wasn’t perfect, you just didn’t have time under yellow flag stops to make any adjustments that you needed.”

Kahne sits 476 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson, who could sew up his fourth straight title. Johnson won Sunday’s race, his seventh win of the season. Kahne is 65 points behind ninth-place Ryan Newman.

The Chase has been up and down for Kahne, who started the final 10-race shootout for the title in sixth place and since has finished 38th at Loudon, eighth at Dover, sixth at Kansas, 34th at Fontana, third at Lowe’s, 32nd at Martinsville, second at Talladega and 33rd at Texas.

He’s looking forward to racing at Homestead.

“I’ve always liked Homestead,” he said. “That’s where I won my first Nationwide race. I’ve run well there in a Cup car. Every year, we seem to qualify good there. It’s a different track. The banking…you go into Turn 1 and it is real flat and you hit the banking and you’ve already started turning. It’s kind of similar in (Turn) 3 and (Turn) off of 4. It flattens out before the exit of the corner, so it’s different. Your car changes a lot. But it’s a pretty neat track. I like racing there. I like trying to close the year out strong. We’ve been able to do that a couple of times there. I made a couple of mistakes there, but hopefully we’ll close out the year strong and finish top 10 in points. That’s all that we can shoot for.”

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