NASCAR & Auto Racing

Kahne finds reason to smile

It has been a long, difficult season for Kasey Kahne, and despite the fact he led 305 laps and didn’t win Saturday night’s Sharpie 500 his second-place finish was still gratifying.

“You go into a season and you think you’re going to run well, but you don’t,” said Kahne, who won six races in 2006 but had finished the top 10 only twice and no better than seventh this year.

“Then you get a great weekend like we did here and it feels good. We’re just going to try to carry it on.”

Kahne led all of his laps before Carl Edwards took over and led all but 16 of the final 198 laps, but he ran right behind Edwards for much of that final segment.

“I think Carl came on a little stronger and I just couldn’t get back to him,” Kahne said. “He was a touch better through the center of the corner and would get back to the throttle a little quicker.”

Kahne started from the pole Saturday after winning Friday night’s Busch race. He’ll go to California next, where he’ll run the same No. 9 Dodge in which he started third but finished 31st at Michigan.