After suffering through a miserable season in 2007, Kasey Kahne is off to a strong start with three straight top-10 finishes.
Heading into Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500, Kahne is third in the standings, trailing only Kyle Busch and Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman.
“As far as we were off at times last year, it was kind of tough to know exactly where we’d be this year,” the Gillett Evernham Motorsports driver said. “I think right now we’re from fifth to 10th and maybe better. I think this would be a great weekend to step it up and get into the top five.”
Everyone is working with NASCAR’s bigger, bulkier Car of Tomorrow, which is being used for the entire season in 2008 after a 16-race trial last year. GEM and several of the other Dodge teams appear to have figured out the new cars on the intermediate tracks, like the 1.5-mile Atlanta oval.
Kahne said his team has learned a lot in the first three races this year, all on tracks where the CoT was raced for the first time.
“We tested at those tracks and we’ve tested at this track,” he said. “All these tracks are tracks that everybody has had the same amount of time on. We keep learning more and more about what we’re working with. ...It’s been pretty fun, pretty exciting and, when you have a good race car, it makes it more fun to drive.”