Somewhere down below the decidedly undemonstrative façade,
Most importantly -- at least in the now mentality of a regular season with just five races left until the Chase for the Championship -- Kahne could further buttress his position inside the Dozen That Matter. The top-12 drivers in points after Richmond qualify for the 10-race playoffs, and Kahne, who hasn't made the cut since 2006, is currently seventh in the driver standings, 180 points ahead of 13th-place
Yeah, yeah, important stuff. Kahne concedes. But he'll have competed in three different regimens at four decidedly disparate facilities before he even gets to Watkins Glen for Sunday's Cup race. First there was a Sprint Cup race on the oval at Pocono on Monday. He'll compete in a sprint car tonight in a charity event for his foundation at the half-mile dirt oval in Mechanicsburg, Pa., then in a USAC Silver Crown car over a 5/8-mile paved surface in Oswego, N.Y., on Thursday. Though the crush of fan, media and corporate responsibilities can sometimes complicate the career, race car drivers love few places more than the seat of a race car.
"I look at it as we love to race. That's what we want to do," Kahne said. "When we go and do those other races, it's a little bit different than having maybe the pressure...how everybody wants to win, everybody wants to run well, get the points every weekend. When we go and do the other races, you don't necessarily have to win, but you still want to. It's just a little bit different feeling.
"You can do it kind of like a vacation, just about."
Kahne is expected to compete against Sprint Cup driver and fellow barnstormer
"I just kept hitting my marks, doing the best I could do. That was what we did that day, and it was good enough," he said. "To beat
Briscoe buttressed the status quo on Saturday by winning for the second time this season (with five runner-up finishes) and wresting the IndyCar points lead from Dixon. But the circular route to normalville was more exciting.
The .0162-second margin of victory was 11th-closest in league history and a challenge from a career-winless driver from a mid-level team, might, as IRL competition director
Though altruism is easier to muster from the top step of the podium -- "I think [the changes] helped me get to the top of the podium on top of everything else," Briscoe said. "So I'm not complaining." -- the Australian said he never wished that the IRL could have lived with the norm for five more races.
"Look at the results," he said. "I thought it was great. And I think it might have gotten the Ganassi guys into a little bit of trouble Saturday night. I don't think they ran enough down force in the cars. When they got into traffic they started having trouble. And I think exactly what we're looking for from a package, between being able to run the right amount of down force or maybe getting a bit greedy and not running enough. I think that's exactly what we were looking for."
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