Kahne takes sixth in shootout

If Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Budweiser Shootout is a prelude to the Daytona 500 it should be the start of a good season for Enumclaw driver Kasey Kahne.

Kahne guided the No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger to a sixth-place finish at the non-points shootout. Kevin Harvick won the event.

“It was a fun night,” Kahne said. “Our Budweiser Dodge was great. I had a fun time, a great racecar. I ended up sixth, not far enough up front, but I think we had a car better than (sixth). I made one mistake when I pushed Kyle (Busch) too far out front and (Jeff) Gordon got a run on us and I ended up dropping to 15th. From there, I had to work my way back up to the front. I think we had a top-five car all night.”

Kahne said everything seemed to click.

“Everything. I take the whole race…the car, the engine – everything. That was probably one of the best racecars that I’ve ever had at Daytona.”

Racing continues Thursday morning as qualifying for Sunday afternoon’s Daytona 500 begins with the Gatorade Duels. Kahne will start 19th in the first duel. Television coverage begins on SPEED at 11:30 a.m.

The two 150-mile qualifying races will determine the starting lineup for the Daytona 500.

The Daytona 500 uses a different qualifying procedure. The fastest two cars – Martin Truex Jr. and Mark Martin – have already locked up the pole and the outside pole position.

The fastest qualifier will earn the pole for both the Daytona 500 and the first 150-mile Gatorade Duel qualifying race. In addition to the polesitter, the odd-number positions (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.) of the highest-ranked 35 finishers in the previous year’s Sprint Cup Series car owner points standings will be assigned to the first qualifier.

The second-fastest qualifier earns the outside pole for the Daytona 500 and will start on the pole for the second 150-mile Gatorade Duel qualifying race. In addition to the second-fastest qualifier, the even-number positions (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.) of the highest-ranked 35 finishers in the previous year’s series owner points standings will be assigned to the second qualifier.

Starting positions for the Daytona 500 will be designated for the highest-ranked 35 positions from the previous year’s series owner point standings from each qualifier, the two-highest finishing cars in each qualifier not among that highest-ranked 35 group and the two front-row qualifiers. The balance of the 43-car field will be filled by the fastest remaining qualifiers who have not earned a starting position.

The Daytona 500 can be seen locally at 11 a.m. Sunday on FOX.

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