Kahne needs Sprint Cup win to earn Chase berth

Staff Report - NASCAR Wire Service Friday, Aug 14 1296
After wrecking out of the race for the second straight week and falling off the 16-driver Chase Grid last Sunday, Kasey Kahne knows what he has to do to make 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 has 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 position similar to where he was last year before 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 has not been Kahne's best track historically, he has proven he can win at a variety of loops, with victories at 11 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."