CONCORD, N.C. -- As the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series season approaches, No. 5 team crew chief Keith Rodden said there is plenty to build on from last year.
"We finished 2016 really strong and made some big strides on figuring out how to get our cars better for the race," he said.
Last season, Kasey Kahne posted his most top-10 results since 2013. And to Rodden's point, of Kahne’s 21 top-14 finishes last season, 12 of them occurred in the final 14 races of the season.
The crew chief said the team will look to carry that momentum into the upcoming season, and much of what he is looking forward to in 2017 revolves around the No. 5 team itself.
"We have a couple new team members, so I'm looking forward to bringing them in and getting them acclimated to the team and our working environment," he said. "It's fun to watch the pit crew come together as a team and watch them grow, both with one another and their families."
Speaking of families, Rodden noted that the start of 2017 is a particularly exciting time for several members of the team.
"We have a relatively young pit crew, and four members have wives that are pregnant," he said, noting that two will be first-time fathers. "So that is a fun and exciting time in their lives."
So while building on the strong finish to 2016 will be on the forefront of his mind -- Rodden listed "win races" as his No. 1 New Year's resolution -- the crew chief is excited to watch his teammates' families grow.
"We're one big family on the 5," Rodden said.