Kahne second in Daytona

Saturday was Kasey Kahne’s lucky night.

The Enumclaw NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver managed to narrowly miss a series of wrecks to finish second, a car-length behind winner Kevin Harvick, at the Coke Zero 400 from Daytona International Speedway.

“I have no idea,” Kahne said about his survival rate after the race. “Every time I looked up there was a crash going on it seemed like the last 30 laps there.”

He’s about right.

Kahne, in a backup car after getting caught up in a wreck during practice, started 20th after qualifying was rained out. The No. 9 was running well, but suffered minor damage when Kahne brushed the wall at the 117th lap of the 166-lap race. He restarted near the back of the field.

“I hit oil when I hit the wall,” he said. “We had a great run going with our Armed Forces Budweiser Ford and I think I hit oil and just spun out, and then they wrecked in front of me so it actually helped me or I definitely would have been in that wreck because I was already slowed up.”

He raced his way back to the front and with 12 laps to go was just ahead of the 19-car pile up that took most of the field out of contention and red-flagged the race for about 20 minutes.

After another crash and another restart Kahne found himself sitting in fourth for a green-white-checkered overtime.

“Just pick the right line, pick the right car,” Kahne said he was thinking as he lined up behind series leader Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon. “I got behind Harvick and thought that would be the spot. I knew he had four tires and we cleared the guys and I just stayed behind him. I was watching Jeff because I knew he would be coming and would be quick. It would have been nice to get our Budweiser Ford in Victory Lane. It was still a good run for our Armed Forces car and the team did a good job. It’s another top five.”

It was Kahne’s third Top 5 in the past four races and pushed him up four spots in drivers’ standings to 16th leaving him within striking distance of Chase contention.

Sprint Cup racing continues Sunday in Chicago.

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