Kasey Kahne and Leavine Family Racing (LFR) finished 21st in a rain-delayed Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The team’s solid practice speeds at the beginning of the weekend brought optimism and saw Kahne barely missing out on the third round of qualifying, securing a 14th place finish for Sunday’s 500-mile race.
Although the time of the race was set to go green an hour earlier than originally planned, the field went green just before 3:30pm ET. At the start of the race, Kahne moved up multiple spots from his 14th place starting position and made it as high as 9thbefore reporting that his No. 95 Procore Habitat for Humanity Camaro ZL1 was extremely loose.
During the competition caution on lap 30, Kahne pitted for an air pressure change and chassis adjustment to address the freeness of the car. The changes helped somewhat and allowed Kahne to stay in the 20th position until eventually falling to 22nd and a lap down to end the first stage.
During the break, Kahne reported his No. 95 Camaro ZL1 was still extremely loose. Crew Chief, Travis Mack, called for another major chassis adjustment, which helped the turning of the car.
Kahne raced back into the Top-20 before a caution came out with 12 laps to go in the stage. Mack called for a wave around, eventually leading to a 21st place spot for Kahne to end the stage.
Kahne started the final stage 20th and down one lap racing for the “Lucky Dog” position. Unfortunately, Kahne was still battling a loose-handling Camaro ZL1.
Kahne made a total of three green flag pit stops until a caution came out on lap 297. Mack once again called for the wave around strategy to help Kahne keep his position until the end of the race. With 21 laps remaining, the field went green, and Kahne eventually crossed the line in 21st.
“We were trying to be aggressive with our strategy to get the best finish we could,” said Crew Chief, Travis Mack. “The car was completely opposite of what we had throughout the weekend in practice – it could have been better. We threw everything at it, but nothing helped. We brought home the best finish we could with what we had. We will move on to Las Vegas.”
Next up for Kahne and LFR is Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where the team had its pre-season test just one month ago.
LFR PR/Photo Jerry Markland/Getty Images