KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Saturday night at Kansas Speedway, Kasey Kahne led his Hendrick Motorsports teammates to the checkered flag.
Kahne drove the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS to a 15th-place result in a race that included 15 caution flags.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined him inside of the top 20 with a 20th-place result.
Jimmie Johnson was involved in one of those 15 cautions while running fifth with just five laps to go, and he ultimately took the checkered flag in 24th.
Damage on pit road for Chase Elliott put him multiple laps behind the leaders in Stage 1, and he recovered to gain as many positions as possible and take home a 29th-place result.
Martin Truex Jr. captured the victory.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Kahne began Saturday night’s race in 31st and wasted little time working his way toward the front. He finished Stage 1 in ninth, and improved his position to seventh by the end of Stage 2. With 95 laps to go in the race, Kahne entered the top five and maintained his top-10 position through multiple cautions, racing between fifth and ninth, where he ran when a caution flag flew with less than 56 laps to go. During the caution, four cars did not pit. The cars on older tires up front made for a jumbled restart, and Kahne, who did head to pit road for fresh tires, was shuffled back from 12th to 17th. He quickly bounced back into the top 15 with less than 40 laps remaining. He fell as far back as 17th when a caution flag flew with eight laps remaining, but he picked up two more positions before the checkered flag to finish 15th.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Rolling off the grid in 10th, Elliott moved up to the top five midway through Stage 1, but contact with a competitor on pit road while exiting his pit box during a caution forced the No. 24 team to make multiple pit stops. That put Elliott multiple laps behind the leaders and he finished Stage 1 in 40th. He had moved to 39th by the end of Stage 2, but remained seven laps down. Elliott continued to gain as many positions as possible, moving all the way to 30th – still nine laps behind the leaders – with less than 40 laps remaining in the race. He picked up one more spot to finish 29th.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Johnson took the green flag in 29th and quickly got to work Saturday night at Kansas. By the end of Stage 1, he was all the way up to sixth. But during the caution prior to the start of Stage 2, Johnson was penalized for driving through too many pit boxes, putting him at the rear of the field. In Stage 2 he made contact with a competitor and fell a lap down before taking a wave-around to return to the lead lap. He finished Stage 2 in 25th, and in the final segment he continued his push back toward the front. With 95 laps to go he was back inside the top 20, and less than 20 laps later he had cracked the top 15. On a restart with 63 laps remaining, Johnson made a big move to re-enter the top 10, but when a caution flag flew less than 10 laps later, four competitors stayed off of pit road. Johnson pitted for fresh tires, though the four competitors up front on older tires made for a jumbled restart, and he found himself outside of the top 15. He raced ahead to the door of the top 10 in 11th, and during the next caution, quick work by the No. 48 team allowed Johnson to gain three spots on pit road and restart ninth as one competitor remained on the track without pitting. With 11 laps to go, he raced all the way into the top five, but on a restart with five laps to go contact from a competitor caused Johnson to spin. He restarted in 24th with three laps to go, and that is where he would finish.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 MOUNTAIN DEW DEW-S-A CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: When the green flag dropped, Earnhardt was in 33rd, but by the end of Stage 1 he was knocking on the door of the top 20. The green checkered flag for the conclusion of Stage 2 saw Earnhardt in 15th, and he continued to work his way forward as the final segment of the race got underway. When a caution flag flew with less than 75 laps to go, Earnhardt had entered the top 10. He lost positions on pit road, however, as the No. 88 team used a different pit gun to ensure each lug nut was tight on the wheels. Restarting 18th, Earnhardt once again entered the top 15, and when another caution flag flew with less than 56 laps to go, the No. 88 team elected to stay on the track, giving Earnhardt the lead for the ensuing restart. On older tires, however, Earnhardt was shuffled back in the pack before recovering to settle into 10th. With 30 laps remaining, however, Earnhardt made an unscheduled pit stop due to a vibration. He returned to the track down one lap in 24th. When a caution flag flew with eight laps to go, Earnhardt was the beneficiary of the free pass to get back on the lead lap. He restarted in 24th with five laps to go, and after one more caution he restarted 22nd and gained two more positions to finish 20th.