Follow me on

Twitter Feed Facebook Feed RSS Feed Linked In Youtube

Ford's Kasey Kahne edges Chevy's Tony Stewart to win Thurday's second Daytona 500 150

   Kasey Kahne (white 9) is proving that George Gillett's move to Ford, with Roush-Yates motors, was a smart move (Photo: Autostock)

   By Mike Mulhern

   Kasey Kahne, the newest guy on the team roster, keeps carrying the SpeedWeeks freight for Ford, Thursday outfoxing Tony Stewart to win the afternoon's second Daytona 500 150-mile qualifier – in another Thursday photo-finish.
   The two best 150s ever? Well, certainly two of the closest, side-by-side finishes with the guy on the inside holding on for the win in both.
   Kahne, driving for the George Gillett-Richard Petty team, which just split from Dodge to 'merge' with the Doug Yates-Jack Roush Team Ford, also had a good Shootout last Saturday, losing by a hair to Kevin Harvick.
    "It's been a good week and a half so far," Kahne said. "The Roush-Yates Ford engine is really, really good."
   Kahne and the rest of the Ford men here were using the new FR9 in Thursday's two 150s, but most plan to switch to the 'old' 452 engine for the 500.
  "I don't care which one I get for the 500, I just want another one," Kahne said.
   The day was an emotional one for Michael Waltrip, who may be driving in his last Daytona 500. Waltrip was forced to make it in the field on speed, and luck, after crashing out of his 150, the day's first.
    And Waltrip did make the 500 field, though he had to wait till the second 150 was over to know for sure, which left him on pins and needs for over an hour.
    "I knew when I woke that before the day was over I'd be crying. I just didn't know if it would be because I was sad or I was happy," Waltrip said.
   "The last 500? man, this was hard today. I need to become just a car owner. I need to prove to myself that I can indeed make the moves to win these races. And today I certainly didn't impress myself."
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. said with all the action so far, he was being cautious: "We got banged around on the fenders. The fender was pushed in to the tire pretty bad. They wanted to work on it, and that got us in the back. We didn't want to get up in there and race too hard and risk tearing the car up and having to pull the backup car out...that is a lot of work."
     Kenny Francis, Kahne's crew chief, was pretty cool about Kahne's first Daytona win. "The Shootout the other day was our first run in a Ford, and that went pretty well -- we finished second," Francis said.
    "In this race I don't think we ever got shuffled back too far.  The car seemed to handle fairly good."
    So far SpeedWeeks is indeed shaping up as Ford versus Chevy. 
    Daytona has long been all-but a Chevrolet playground, and that marque has an impressive string here.
    "From what I've seen, the Chevy guys qualified pretty good, but our Fords really seemed to run strong in race configuration," Francis says. "Matt Kenseth ran really good, Elliott Sadler. And in the first race, AJ Allmendinger ran good in one of our cars. And Greg Biffle ran really good.
    "So I think the Ford stuff is really strong. On Sunday I feel we've got a real good piece, and a real good shot to give them a run for it."
     Perhaps to the point – when Chevy's Juan Pablo Montoya began pushing Stewart the final miles, Kahne's edge seemed shakey.   
    "I was a little concerned when Montoya got behind him there and was pushing pretty good," Francis said.
    Analyzing all the action, consider the track itself: "It's just a really slick track," Francis said. "It's rough, bumpy, and it throws the cars around.
    "To me it makes for really great racing.  You've got to really hustle the cars around here, even more so than on an intermediate track.
    "I don't think it's really the shock package that's making the cars slide around more. Goodyear came back with a little bit different tire... and the
tires are holding up really, really well, better than we've seen here in years and years.  (So) there may be some grip level that's a little different, with how that compound reacts to the asphalt that's making the cars a little more slippery.
     "But Kasey has not really complained about his handling much at all.  He's been pretty happy."



      [Note: You can use Twitter as an easy headline service for mikemulhern.net stories, with our instant Tweets to your mobile as soon as our newest NASCAR story is filed. And mikemulhern.net is mobile-friendly for viewing. You can also use the orange RSS feed button as a quickie headline service on your laptop or home computer for mikemulhern.net stories, by creating a Live Bookmark RSS feed on your web browser's toolbar. Or you can create a Google Alert for mikemulhernnet.]

                                      Results of Thursday's second Daytona 500 150-miler


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

© 2010-2011 www.mikemulhern.net All rights reserved.
Web site by www.webdesigncarolinas.com