In relative terms, 2015 has been a strange season for Kasey Kahne, starting at Daytona.
Why? Because, for one thing, Kahne didn’t wreck in the season-opening Daytona 500, a radical shift in fortune for a driver who had been wiped out in his previous six starts in the Great American Race, four of the accidents leading to DNFs.
This year, Kahne ran ninth in the 500, a considerable improvement over his average finish in the previous six races—30th. And with new crew chief Keith Rodden on his pit box this year, Kahne is 10th in points through the first 11 races of the season.
“It’s been nice not to be so far behind early in the year,” Kahne said Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, seven hours before he moonlighted in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and won his fifth race in six starts. “We got out of Daytona without wrecking and that was something different than I think the six previous 500’s or something like that.
“So it was nice to start off in the top 10 right off the bat. We’ve been able to do a pretty good job of staying in that top 10 since. The only reason we’re in (as low as) 10th right now is because of things happening. Tony (Stewart) got me at Bristol and then we got in a wreck at Talladega. That’s worth 60 points right there, so that’s why we’re in 10th.
“I feel like we’re doing a good job. We’re not where we want to be, but we’re much closer and we know the things that we need to keep working on.”