Kasey Kahne must have Sprint Cup win to earn Chase berth

cms_051614_kahneAfter wrecking out of the race for the second straight week at Watkins Glen and falling off the 16-driver Chase Grid last Sunday, Kasey Kahne knows what he has to do to make NASCAR’s playoffs—the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

“At this rate we’re going to need to win,” Kahne said. “That’s the only way we’ll go into the Chase. We’ve got to get a little better. I need to get a little better.”

Kahne has four races left to get that win, starting with Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

The No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports driver claims one victory at Michigan (June 2006) and believes he can adapt well to the high-drag track-specific rule package that will be used there this weekend.

“There were times at Indianapolis when we were really quick with that package,” Kahne said. “I know they’re working hard to bring a little less drag and more downforce there for us, all four of us (at Hendrick Motorsports). So hopefully we can run good at Michigan and maybe get a win there.”

Kahne finds himself in a similar position to where he was last year prior to the Chase. Too low in points to qualify without a victory, Kahne won the second-to-last race of the season at Atlanta to punch his ticket into NASCAR’s postseason.

While Michigan is not Kahne’s best track historically, he has proven he can win at a variety of loops, with victories at 11 different venues including short and intermediate tracks and road courses.

“The main thing is that all of the equipment we get at Hendrick Motorsports is good enough to win every weekend,” Kahne said. “We need to get on the ball here and do that, and I don’t see any better weekend to do that than the next one.”