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Kahne makes another strong late-season run

November 07, 2011, Sporting News Wire Service, NASCAR.com

Kasey Kahne gave everything he had to Tony Stewart, but Kahne just couldn't keep the No. 14 behind him. (Getty Images)

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Third-place finish gives Red Bull driver fifth top-six in past six Cup races

Kasey Kahne thought he might have a chance to win Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway -- until he got a close-up look at the way Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards were racing.

"I watched Tony and Carl," said Kahne, who finished third behind Stewart and Edwards. "They're going for it. Tony raced me as hard as he ever raced me. I had to race as hard as I could. They're trying to get as many points as they can.

"It's intense, trying to win these races right now. It's super close."

Kahne, who will leave Red Bull Racing for Hendrick Motorsports next year, posted his fifth top-six finish in the past six Sprint Cup races, but he just wasn't fast enough to overtake the championship contenders ahead of him.

If Kahne has concrete plans for the future, his current team doesn't. Red Bull Racing is for sale, and the sponsor/owner of the team won't continue in that role.

"The Red Bull team just keeps doing a good job," Kahne said. "They're working hard. It's pretty impressive for a lot of them -- not knowing their future, not knowing what's going on there, if there will be a two-car team or one-car team -- to keep putting the cars on the track like they are."

Kahne, who hasn't won a race this year, gained a spot to 14th in the standings with Sunday's strong finish. He trails 13th-place Clint Bowyer by 18 points with two races left.

Watch Kahne's highlights from Texas: