TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Kasey Kahne had a full day of work ahead of him at Talladega Superspeedway but his mind was 1,200 miles away.
His sprint cars were racing at Eldora Speedway, and Kahne was determined to find a way to get to the track. Only Tony Stewart wasn't answering his text messages, and Kahne was getting frustrated.
No need to worry, NASCAR fans. Kahne has no plans to swap series. He's off to the best start of his career, living drama-free at Hendrick Motorsports, and couldn't be more pleased with his place in the Sprint Cup Series.
"I'm in a pretty good spot right now," Kahne said.
Indeed, driving for Rick Hendrick may finally have given Kahne the home he'd been searching for.
Kenny Francis came with him, continuing a relationship that began at the end of the 2005 season — second longest in the Sprint Cup Series only to Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus in driver-crew chief pairings. They overcame a rough start to their debut season with Hendrick last year to win two races, make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship and finish a career-best fourth in the standings.
This year, Kahne doesn't have the deep hole to dig out of — he heads into Sunday's race at Talladega Superspeedway ranked third in points and already has a win.
So, yeah, his mind still wanders to World of Outlaws racing because he's got a vested interest with his three Kasey Kahne Racing entries. But he's so pleased at Hendrick Motorsports that he's no longer plotting and scheming to fill his schedule with different forms of motorsports.
"For a while IndyCar was really something I looked at. It was something I wanted to try and figure out how to do the 500," Kahne said. "But lately, for whatever reason, since I've been with Hendrick Motorsports, I've felt like everything is sitting there for me now. Team-wise, personnel, ownership, sponsorship — everything is there. And I just really — it's time for me to figure out how to win races and win a championship if I'm going to do it.
"The other stuff just hasn't been on my radar. I think a lot about sprint cars because I own those teams, and I want to run those when I have an opportunity. But my mind doesn't really think about other racing as much. I haven't even thought much about midgets or late models. It's just sprint cars and Sprint Cup."
Kahne isn't very complicated. He wants fast cars, little stress and familiarity.