Chili Bowl helped give Kasey Kahne change he ‘needed’ after 2015

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The 2015 season was nothing to write home about to Enumclaw, Washington for Kasey Kahne.

With no wins and an 18th-place finish in the standings, the campaign was the Hendrick Motorsports driver’s worst since 2010.

That’s why Kahne, 35, needed a change of pace in the offseason and talked owner Rick Hendrick into allowing him to compete in the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the first time in two years.

“He knows I want to do it and I missed it and it’s something that gets me going, “ Kahne told Motorsport.com’s Lee Spencer at the week-long dirt track event. “I know why he hasn’t. He’s been looking out for me in ways with sponsors and things — and I totally understand.

“But I’ve been growing up doing this my whole life. To get away from it, then struggle in the Cup car. I feel like, ‘I want to do this or that,’ and to not be able to I don’t think that’s been a good thing. I think this is a natural leap to be able to do this.”

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Kahne finished second in his Friday night heat race, fourth in his qualifier and third in the A-Main, which locked him into the Saturday night feature where he finished 13th.

It’s been 47 races since Kahne last visited victory lane, in the 2014 Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was Kahne’s 17th win and his fifth since joining Hendrick in 2012.