05.19.13: ALLSTARRace: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway
RECAPPING THE RACE:
Kasey Kahne drove his No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS to a fourth-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night.
FIRST SEGMENT: The first 20-lap segment opened with a small rain shower threatening in the area. Kahne rolled off the grid ninth, and he quickly improved his track position to seventh. The No. 5 team opted to stay on the track when NASCAR officials displayed the yellow flag for rain on Lap 8. Within five laps, the caution flag was replaced with a red one as the rain intensified. On pit road, the teams were allowed the opportunity to work on their cars and prepare for the remainder of the first segment.
After a 41 minute red-flag delay, the cars rolled back on track with Kahne in seventh. He moved into sixth within two circuits of the restart. The driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS used the bottom lane to inch his way through the field, ticking off one more spot by the time the first segment concluded. At the end of the first 20-lap segment, Kahne was running fifth.
SECOND SEGMENT: Kahne opted to not pit during the caution period so he lined up fifth for the next 20-lap segment. Within the first circuit of the segment, he was running sixth after being passed by teammate Jimmie Johnson. But Kahne wasn’t going to let his teammate get the best of him and moved in to fight for the top-five spot. The Hendrick Motorsports duo battled as the segment unfolded. Johnson ultimately won the spot, finishing in fifth. Kahne took sixth.
THIRD SEGMENT: All four Hendrick Motorsports teammates made pit stops during the yellow-flag period between segments. Kahne lined up 10th after stopping for four tires and fuel as well as air pressure and wedge adjustments. By Lap 54, Kahne, still trying to use the bottom lane, was running sixth and maintained this position when the third segment concluded.
FOURTH SEGMENT: Kahne beat the competition off pit road during the pre-segment stop by taking two tires, a chassis adjustment and a tank of fuel. He lined up on the outside of the front row in second for the restart for the final segment. Kahne led the first circuit, which unfolded in wild style around Charlotte’s 1.5-mile oval. By Lap 62, Kahne was in command of the field.
The caution flag was waved for debris on Lap 66. At the time of the yellow flag, Kahne was in the lead. The No. 5 team decided against pitting so Kahne lined up on the outside of the front row for the Lap 71 restart and battled with Kurt Busch for the lead before settling into second three laps later. After nine laps, the yellow flag was displayed to set the field for the final 10-lap shootout. Kahne crossed the finish line second.
FIFTH SEGMENT: NASCAR realigned drivers for the final segment based on their average finishes in the first four segments. A photo-finish between Kahne and Johnson ultimately put Kahne in third and Johnson in fourth. Once aligned, the drivers prepared for their mandatory four-tire stops that would then reset the field for the final 10-lap shootout.
Kahne and Johnson were the first two cars off pit road, with Kahne edging his Hendrick Motorsports teammate by a nose. Kahne opted for the outside of the front row and used a push from Joey Logano to take the lead briefly before Johnson powered his way into contention. The Hendrick Motorsports teammates battled fiercely around the 1.5-mile speedway, Kahne running the high line and Johnson on the bottom. Within the first circuit, Johnson took the lead. When the checkered flag waved at Lap 90, Kahne was fourth.
QUOTING KASEY KAHNE:
KAHNE (ON THE FINAL 10 LAPS OF THE ALL-STAR RACE.): “Well, I would say my pit crew did a great job of getting us out first. I was a little tight the run before, and we didn’t have time to fix it because we wanted to get out first and knew if we could get clean air we thought we would be alright with our Farmers Insurance Chevy. Jimmie (Johnson) just stayed right there, and I couldn’t get rid of him. Then he beat me off the corner and into (Turn) three and kind of on exit, and it was over after that. I was tight and fell back to fourth but the pit crew did great. It was a great run for us. We tried hard and just a little too much bouncing off cars to have a car capable of running with him at the end.”