Victory recipe pays off for Kasey Kahne with a lap 95 pit decision that gave the West Coast native enough fuel and tires to secure the win at Auto Club Speedway for the Ameriquest 300 on Saturday.
"We were going to either stay out and probably finish somewhere between fifth and 10th," said Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Snuggles Dodge. "Because of fuel mileage, we were going to have to pit. Or we could pit early and top off and try to win. I would rather win¿. I just saved all the fuel I possibly could, and we actually did a burnout and everything, and it was still running, so I guess I saved too much. I guess I could have went a little earlier."
Kahne made a pit stop on Lap 95 and Crew Chief Trip Bruce made the decision to make it the final pit stop of the day for the Evernham Motorsports machine. Kahne continued throughout the race and eventually took the lead on Lap 133 when the race leaders and front runners made their final pit stops of the night.
Full-time Busch Series driver Paul Menard, who also stayed out of the pits on lap 129, exchanged the lead position with the No. 9 car four times in a total of only 8 laps before running out of fuel on the final lap of the race. He wound up finishing in fourth place.
"We shook the dice," said Menard. "But we still got a top-5 out of it, which is the best we've ever done here."
Second place was claimed by Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 21 U.S. Coast Guard Chevrolet, who led 20 laps early in the race.
Finishing third was Mark Martin who drives the No. 6 Ameriquest Ford. Martin led twice in the race and logged the most total laps led with 88. Martin has one Busch Series win at Auto Club Speedway, as well as one NEXTEL Cup Series win and one Craftsman Truck Series victory. He is the only driver who has a victory in each one of NASCAR's top-three divisions.
Menard and Ashton Lewis Jr. finished fourth and fifth respectively, as Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Jon Wood, Robby Gordon and Jay Sauter round out the top-10.
The SONY HD 500 is ready to start its engines on Sunday night! NASCAR's elite division brings the best competitors in the sport to the West Coast's premier sports and entertainment venue. Tickets are still available by calling 800-944-RACE  or by logging on to www.autoclubspeedway.com.