Friday, September 21, 2012

Quiet Kahne Poised To Make Noise

Kahne is sneaking up on the points lead
Kasey Kahne doesn’t say much, and when he does speak, it’s usually in quiet, understated tones. On the race track, though, Kahne is becoming difficult to overlook, currently ranking fifth in points after gaining six positions in a single week with a third-place finish behind winner Brad Keselowski and runner-up Jimmie Johnson Chicagoland Speedway.

“I've seen (quiet) since I've come into the sport,” said Kahne to reporters today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “I feel like I am pretty quiet, and just kind of do my own thing. I work hard to try to be the best at what I can.

“I'm not really a trash talker, or anything like that. I just get up, try to do my thing, and go to sleep. I think having a good team surrounding you and being able to communicate on things is something that I've worked really hard on. That is a big part of it for me.
Kahne said the while most of the attention is rightfully being directed at Keselowski and Johnson, he and his team were encouraged by their Chicagoland performance.
“We felt good about Chicago,” he said. “We started the Chase off on a good note. The team did a really nice job. We weren’t as good as Brad and Jimmie, but we were pretty close.”
He also said he has high hopes of driving back to Victory Lane this weekend at The Magic Mile, as he did in mid-July.
“I like this place,” he said. “We have run pretty well here at times. We were right in the mix the first race and ended up getting the win. Hopefully Sunday we can put together another strong performance, qualify well this afternoon and put together a good performance on Sunday.”
Kahne said the biggest advantage he has enjoyed since joining Hendrick Motorsports has been the input of his teammates; Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. “It has taken time to get to where we are, and feel really confident with everybody and they feel confident with me, being able to work with (my teammates) and take things from Jimmie, Jeff and Dale… has helped me a lot.
“I think there are a lot of little things (that make HMS so strong), but the teammates are a big thing to me. I felt like going into this season that would be a big thing and it has been. Just to have that caliber of guys to look at and listen to (has helped).”
After a summer of slow and steady progress, Kahne said he and his Kenny Francis-led team are now ready to make their move.
“I feel like we have slowly made ground all season long since about the seventh (or) eighth race. We have had great cars, I feel like we get stronger each week together, and last week was probably our best overall race that we have had all year. We didn’t win, but… I think overall we did a really good job. To me, everything keeps getting better.
“I would like to keep gaining points,” he said. “We have done it all year. I think we can keep going in that direction slowly. It’s going to get tougher as it goes, for sure. I think until you get to about the fifth race, who knows where everybody is going to go?
“I think we have a strong team and everything really looks good for us right now.”

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:00 PM

    Nice article Dave. It seems like Kasey might be even more overlooked than Kennseth and Biffle but the performance has been coming on steadily. A top 5 standing is not out of the question when we take the checker at Homestead!

    Ken Novet via FB