By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
CONCORD, N.C. – Kasey Kahne came up just short of playing the role of spoiler in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver came off of scoring Top 10’s in four of the last five races and looked for the upset over teammate Jimmie Johnson, only to come up two spots short with a third-place finish.
On the initial start of the race, Kahne’s No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS slipped back to 19th after starting 12th.
Kahne slowly began to move forward after the competition caution and moved back into the Top 15 by Lap 80 and moments later broke into the Top 10.
A caution for an accident involving Joey Logano on lap 118, during a round of green flag pit stops, trapped Kahne a lap down. As the leaders pitted under the yellow, Kahne as for to take the waved around.
Kahne once again had to work his way forward. Within 15 laps of the restart on lap 124, Kahne was knocking on the door of the Top 10 once again. Another caution for another accident involving Logano secured Kahne in the Top 10.
Kahne hovered just inside the Top 10 for the rest of the race.
Kahne narrowly missed being swept up in a multi-car pileup on lap 265. Kahne barely snuck by as teammate Chase Elliott spun across the track.
Another late caution waved as Denny Hamlin blew his engine. On the ensuing pit stops, Kahne was able to move into the top five for the first time.
Kahne restarted in the fourth position. Kahne was able to move up to third before the checkered flag waved.
This is Kahne’s best finish of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. This was also Kahne’s third top five of the season, and his 11th Top 10.
Kahne was thankful for his team’s work to get him up to third for the finish.
“It was quite the battle to get there,” Kahne said. “We had our work cut out for us. We got to where we were a lot better the first 30 laps of a run the last three runs there. That helped us get some track position and avoid a couple of those wrecks.
“That was tough on a couple of those teams. Our Great Clips Chevrolet was strong the first 30 laps and then it would fall off a little bit. It was still a strong day. We did pretty good. We fought hard; the team had great pit stops all day also.”
Kahne will now look forward to Kansas Speedway where he will continue to try to play the role of spoiler.