Since Kasey Kahne joined Hendrick Motorsports, he has had pressure to win races and to perform well. During the beginning of the season, Kahne experienced a bit of bad luck, which ultimately added to the pressures of winning. Before the Goody Fast Relief 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kasey's best finish was 14th at Auto Club Speedway. Since Bristol, the Hendrick Motorsports driver has finished in the top-10 in every race since.
After winning the Coca-Cola 600 for the third time in his career, the pressure to win for Hendrick has gone away. Has that boosted his confidence heading into the rest of the 2012 season?
Kahne was asked about his confidence for the rest of the season during Tuesday's NASCAR Media Teleconference.
Yeah, absolutely.To get that first win out of the way, and now I've won a race for Hendrick Motorsports, and we need to figure out how to win more.So it gives myself confidence and some momentum.I think it really gives our team, our whole team a lot of confidence and momentum, and we feel good about the direction that we're all headed in right now.I think HMS is really strong.
Its a huge sigh of relief for Kasey Kahne. Everyone, including Kahne, knew the pressures of being a driver for Rick Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports. You have to finish well, and you have to win. Now that Kasey has won a race for Rick Hendrick, the monkey has officially jumped off of his shoulders.
Now that Kahne's confidence is improved, he has a great chance of getting himself into the Chase. There were questions early on during the season whether or not he can make the Chase with the amount of bad luck he was having. Thats old news now. If the #5 team continues to finish in the top-10 throughout the summer, they have a good shot at making the chase.
Overall, winning his first race for Hendrick Motorsports has boosted his confidence and his chances to make the Chase.