Red Bull Rundown: Kahne Earns First Top-Five Since Daytona

Vickers battles for position with Bowyer and Earnhardt Jr going three-wide.
Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR
Following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Red Bull Racing drivers Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne hoped to have similar luck in terms of qualifying at Dover International Speedway, while Kahne hoped to redeem himself after struggling with pit strategy at NHMS which cost him a possible victory.
In Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover, Kahne earned a career-best finish at the “Monster Mile,” crossing the finish line in fourth after starting ninth, collecting his first top-five finish since the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona in July. Vickers pulled out a 14th place finish after starting from 30th.
Spending a majority of the day in the top-15, Kahne found himself as high as second and turned the fourth highest number (39) of fastest laps. On lap 229, NASCAR reported that Kahne was turning the same lap time as then leader Jimmie Johnson. In just 10 laps, he was able to cut his deficit in half and quickly closed in on Johnson.
“We had a strong Red Bull Toyota throughout the race and at times we were the best car, but at the end I got a little bit tight,” said Kahne. “Then I had a great restart and I thought we were going to get to second and Jimmie (Johnson) just was coming down getting into (turn) one, so I let him go rather than wreck him. That was kind of our race, but we ran well.”
Vickers struggled early on in the race, but under the fourth caution of the day, he was able to gain his lap back and things seemed to click from there for the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota team. He ran as high as seventh and was inside the top-15 for nearly half the race. In the final stop of the day, Vickers took two tires in order to gain track position and by lap 371, Vickers was up to 10th and eventually finished the race in 14th.
Vickers finished fifth in the last NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover, while Kahne finished 36th after starting fourth. Following Sunday’s AAA 400, Kahne picked up four spots in the point standings and now sits in 16th. Vickers remains in 26th.
Next week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Kansas Speedway for the second visit this season, this time for the Hollywood Casino 400.
Statistically, the Red Bull Racing drivers combined have only three top-10s at Kansas. Kahne has earned two poles at the track and has an average finish of 18.9. Vickers has an average finish of 17.7.
Red Bull Rundown: Kahne Earns First Top-Five Since Daytona Red Bull Rundown: Kahne Earns First Top-Five Since Daytona Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, October 03, 2011 Rating: 5