Great Clips has joined Hendrick Motorsports as a co-primary sponsor (with Hendrickcars.com) of the No. 5 Chevrolet team and Kasey Kahne for the Nov. 4 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. This marks the first Cup-level partnership for the world’s largest salon brand, which now is sponsoring four competitors across three national series this weekend at Texas. Minneapolis-based Great Clips has supported Kahne’s efforts as both a driver and car owner across multiple racing series since 2003.
POINTS WITH THREE TO GO: Kahne’s third-place result at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway improved his standing in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup to fourth. He is now 29 markers behind points leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson. Previously, Kahne’s best ranking at this point in the season was ninth, which he scored in 2006 and 2009.
KAHNE AT TEXAS: Kahne earned his win at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2006, after starting from the pole position and leading 63 laps. The driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet also has four top-five finishes and five top-10s in 16 Cup starts at the Fort Worth, Texas, oval. Kahne scored a seventh-place result in his most recent start at the track in April and crossed the line third one year ago.
DRIVER RATING: In this event one year ago, Kahne posted a driver rating of 113.5, ranking him fourth. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.
CHASSIS CHOICE: For Sunday’s race, crew chief Kenny Francis has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-739. Kahne has raced this car twice this season, notably recording a 12th-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July.
LOOP DATA: Kahne ranks eighth with 200 fastest laps run at Texas during the last seven seasons according to NASCAR loop data. He also ranks eighth for green-flag passes with 1,055 during the same period. So far in 2012, Kahne ranks second to Johnson for speed under the green flag and speed late in a run. Kahne also ranks third for fastest laps run with 643 this season.
1.5-MILE SUCCESS: Kahne has finished eighth or better in seven of the eight points races at 1.5-mile speedways this season, notably recording a win at Charlotte (N.C.) in May and a runner-up finish at Kentucky Speedway in June. He also earned pole positions on the 1.5-mile tracks at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway.
INTERMEDIATE TRACK STATS: Kahne has collected nine of his 14 career Cup wins and 15 of his 26 pole positions on tracks one-to-two miles in length. His average starting spot of 10.9 on 1.5-mile speedways is second only to Johnson (10.2) among active, full-time drivers.
HENDRICK AT TEXAS: In 23 races (93 starts) at Texas, Hendrick Motorsports has three wins, 22 top-five finishes and 40 top-10s. Johnson and Jeff Gordon rank tied for second with eight top-five finishes at the 1.5-mile track among drivers all-time at Texas. Johnson also ranks tied for second with 13 top-10s. Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rank tied for first all-time with two pole positions.
TOP STARTERS: Among drivers all-time at Texas, Hendrick Motorsports four current drivers rank inside the top five for average starting spot. Johnson leads the pack with a 9.3 average starting position, and Earnhardt ranks second with 11.4. Kahne follows in third with an 11.7 average starting spot at Texas, and Gordon ranks fifth with 12.4.
KASEY KAHNE, DRIVER, NO. 5 GREAT CLIPS/HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET (ON TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY.): “We got our first top-10 of the year at Texas, and it started a great streak for the team. I always love coming to this track. It’s fast with a lot of room to move around and race. I think that really fits my style and gives us a good chance to win.”