5 KASEY KAHNE, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: 11th, 20 points out of the top 10. Secured a spot in the Chase with his Atlanta win. Gained two spots last week.
RICHMOND RECORD: One win and seven top-10 finishes including four top-five's in 21 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Kahne hopes he can "build off" his Atlanta win as he heads to Richmond. "Hopefully, we can build some confidence, some momentum, and go into Richmond and even get better. We actually ran pretty well at Richmond earlier in the year, so that could be a good track for us this weekend."
LOOKING BACK: It was an emotional roller-coaster for Kahne Sunday night at Atlanta. After rallying late to take the lead, Kahne was within two laps of the win when a caution flag was waved for a collision between Kyle Busch and Martin Truex, Jr. With two drivers taking only two tires and two others beating him off pit road, Kahne was fifth on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered flag finish. A multi-car accident on the restart resulted in a second attempt at a green-white-checkered flag finish. Kahne was third on this restart and quickly moved by Denny Hamlin and pulled alongside Matt Kenseth. The two dueled for almost a lap before Kahne grabbed the lead and the win that earned him a spot in the Chase.
"Man, it took a lot (to get to victory lane)," said Kahne. "We were all over the place during the race but the guys stayed with me and worked hard. On those restarts, I didn't know what would happen because I had great restarts all night and I (normally) struggle with restarts a lot. That's big, because that is one of the things you have to be good at and it worked really well tonight. It's been kind of one thing after the other but we are in the Chase with my teammates. Glad we are in the Chase and we can race them now. I am really pumped to be here."
ETC.: Crew chief Kenny Francis didn't hide the fact "it's been a rough year for us. We have had a lot of good cars and just seems like nothing goes our way. We haven't got many breaks. You feel like you're got good equipment and you feel like you've been running good, just when things don't go your way, you lose some confidence and you get a little dejected. So, winning this race is such a dramatic fashion and getting in the Chase and all that, that is just a huge relief. And I think it's going to be a huge up lift for the whole team and for our whole shop."