(Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)

NASCAR at Atlanta

Kahne takes win and makes the Chase

Kasey Kahne led the last two laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Oral-B USA 500 to clinch a berth in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup with his first victory of the season. He led twice for 25 laps in his No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS in route to his third victory at the 1.54-mile track and 17th win of his career.

He joins Hendrick teammates Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. making it the third year in a row that all four Hendrick Motorsports teams have been in the final 10-race run for the title.

(Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)

“Yeah, we are locked in and I hate it comes down to this - Atlanta or Richmond - just about every year for me,” said Kahne in Victory Lane. “Sometimes we are in, sometimes we are out. But thankful that now at HMS I have been in all three years now. We have the pressure all the way to Richmond, but we made it again, thankful for that. Thankful for Mr. H, Kenny Francis, Chris Spaulding, the guys did a nice job. Friday we started terrible, came back Saturday and ran really good, and then raced pretty well tonight at times. Glad we got those restarts because those were tough and that is where it paid off for sure.”

Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion, Johnson brought his No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet SS home in fourth position. Danica Patrick, posted her NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career best finish of sixth in her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS, which is the highest finishing position ever recorded by a female driver at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The previous record was held by Janet Guthrie (10th, March 19, 1978).