After some years of uncertainty Kasey Kahne
has found that he’s at home at Hendrick Motorsports.
While it is arguable that the driver of the #5 Chevy has known since 2010 he’d be HMS it still feels good to, finally, be with a team which has promise for the long haul.
“Oh, man, stability,” Kahne said during a teleconference. “That's a great word. Good word to hear. I think it's justá-- I have four years here that I know it's going to be stable and be competitive and have great people and a great team around me. To be able to be a part of all that is something that I haven't had. It's definitely nice to have it, makes you feel pretty good about where you're at. It's taken time. I've had some really good years in Cup and I've learned a lot from everything, and now I'm just in a really solid situation and need to take full advantage of it."
Kahne began in the Sprint Cup series with Ray Evernham, in 2004, until that team merged with the defunct GEM owned by George Gillett. Then came a further merger with Richard Petty’s team forming RPM
The problem at the time was that Gillett was running out of money and until Rick Hendrick made the bold move of hiring Kahne, in 2010, to race in 2012 there was plenty of uncertainty.
Kasey Kahne spent 2011 with the now defunct Red Bull Racing scoring one win at the fall race at Phoenix.
|Kasey Kahne on Victory Lane, at Phoenix, in 2011. (Photo: NASCAR)
One of the biggest transitions for the driver who starts his ninth year in the Sprint Cup Series will be getting to know his crewmen outside of crew chief, Kenny Francis, and a couple of others who came with him at the end of last year.
Does he know all their names? "No. There's a lot of people over there. I'm getting better and better every day, but I still have a long ways to go." said Kahne.
One name easy to learn is four-time Sprint Cup champion, Jeff Gordon, whose car is prepared in the same shop by the same crew. "It's been fun to kind of talk with Jeff and try to pick his brain a little bit on certain things," added Kahne.
"You know, I've looked at things differently, as well, so some of the ways that I look at stuff will be different from Jeff, and I'll give him a different way to look at stuff every once in a while, too, because he's been in one spot for so long. He's so used to trying to do things certain ways. But he's been very successful, so I feel like working with him is a pretty great opportunity for myself, and it's been a lot of fun so far doing that and just pretty cool to be a part of that."
Sounds like Kahne is settling in just fine.