Kasey Kahne’s future has been up in the air lately in regards to where he will be driving next season. That has finally been settled and he turned in a great performance in qualifying for the Carfax 400 on Friday and will start Sunday’s race from the top spot. He turned a lap of 187.183 to win the pole for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Whether or not his future has played a role in his recent races and lackluster finishes is not known, but he now has a good opportunity to turn things around.
“I don’t know how much that’s been on my mind,” Kahne said. “It’s hard to say. I feel like I’m focused pretty good each week and really trying to do the right thing. It’s something I definitely think about a lot. So I think that can help me some.”
Kahne currently drives for Richard Petty Motorsports but will move to Red Bull Racing next season after signing a contract this week. It is a move that Kahne is looking forward to.
“I want to win races and I want to run competitively and make the Chase — things that I think you can do there,” Kahne said. “Red Bull has shown that they can do [it] in the past. I feel like we’ll be able to do it next year.”
Jimmie Johnson qualified second on Friday and was followed by Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart and Juan Pablo Montoya. Bowyer’s starting spot for Sunday is huge as he currently is 13th in the points standings and needs to make a move to become eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
“It was a well-needed run,” Bowyer said. “Obviously these are important times for us, the situation we are in racing for this Chase spot. Starting up front at a big race track like this, to be in the clean air and having an opportunity to have a good pit stall goes a long ways toward a good run on Sunday. I’m very happy with the guys. Our cars are running well. We just keep having crazy things happen.”
Johnson has yet to win a pole this year but still sits fifth in the points standings and is 328 points behind leader Kevin Harvick. Two of his current teammates had a horrible day in qualifying on Friday as Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified 38th and Jeff Gordon was 40th.
“My future teammate had to come in and spoil our fun,” Johnson said.