Kahne excited about truck stop

Jim Pedley - NASCAR Wire Service Saturday, May 09 1552

It’s like an immutable law of physics: Racing drivers seem to abhor a vacuum of racing. How else to explain it when even the best – and most well-paid – of them use their days off to go racing.

Hendrick Motorsports full-time Sprint Cup Series star Kasey Kahne, for example, will celebrate some time off when he returns to his home base of Charlotte, N.C. after leaving Kansas Speedway this weekend to do more, previously unscheduled racing.

In this case, he will drive the No. 00 JR Motorsports Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado in the event at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Kahne, who will start Saturday night’s SpongeBob SquarePants race from the front row after qualifying second fastest on Friday, said. “So far we haven’t done a whole lot. I plan on going over there this week and spending some time with the guys and learn a little bit more about our program and what we’re taking to Charlotte. But Charlotte is a really good track for me. I’ve always enjoyed racing there. I’ve run really well there.”

Kahne has run really well everywhere he’s driven a truck. Of the five races he’s started in the series, he’s won four (Darlington in 2004 and 2011, Homestead-Miami in 2004, and Rockingham in 2012).

In his only non-victorious start, Kahne finished second (Pocono in 2010).

Young Cole Custer has been driving the No. 00 Haas Automation sponsored truck.

Team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. has asked Kahne to race in Charlotte for two reasons. First, he thinks Kahne, his teammate in the Hendrick Sprint Cup program will enjoy it.

“I think he is going to put a lot of pressure on himself,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I’m not going to put any expectations on him.  I just want him to have fun.  He stepped up to drive the Truck.  I just want him to go in there and have fun hopefully.”

The second reason is to help Custer and to inject some energy into the team.

“I think he is going to enjoy it and help that team especially being at the racetrack,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “As difficult as it is on Cole (Custer) to not be at the track and racing every opportunity he can get, it’s also as difficult for the team to sort of stay competitive and stay on the leading edge of the innovating things that are happening in the garage if you are not there every week.  It will help them to be at the track and learn some more things that they can apply to some races they run later on in the year.  Hopefully, they can learn and have a good time, run a good race and maybe win the race if they can.  But also learn and help Cole down the road.”

Custer started nine races in 2014, winning once and posting six top-10 finishes. This season, he has started one race – at Martinsville – and finished 16th.