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Kahne rallies from back to win at Rockingham

April 15, 2012, NASCAR Wire Service, NASCAR.com



Kahne rallies from back to win at Rockingham
Completes busy weekend by putting capper on NASCAR's return to the Rock

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Kasey Kahne capped a successful weekend of triple-duty Sunday afternoon, winning the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 to mark NASCAR's return to Rockingham Speedway for the first time since 2004.

Kahne -- who finished seventh in the Sprint Cup Series on Saturday and third in the Nationwide Series on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway -- surged to the front in the 155th lap of 200 to notch his fourth win in five starts in the Truck Series.

Rockingham

Results
Pos.DriverMake
2.James BuescherChevrolet
3.Matt CraftonToyota
4.Johnny SauterToyota
5.Timothy PetersToyota

James Buescher finished second with Matt Crafton third and Johnny Sauter fourth. Timothy Peters jumped into the Camping World Truck Series' points lead with a combination of a fifth-place finish and an early wreck for teammate John King, the Daytona winner who led the points coming in.

* Video: Final Laps | Victory Lane | Post-Race Reactions

Brad Sweet qualified the No. 4 truck fifth, but Kahne had to start at the rear of the field because of the driver change. Even with traveling from Fort Worth overnight, getting approximately 4 1/2 hours of sleep and having no track time in preparation for the race, Kahne was poised to pounce in the late stages.

"This is probably the best weekend I've had in a long time," Kahne said. "I got out of that truck and I've got three clean race cars and I ran three hard races this weekend, and everything's clean -- not a dent on 'em. ... It was a good weekend, tons of energy, and I'll sleep good tonight when I finally decide to go to bed."

Kahne played a prominent part in NASCAR's last race here, when Matt Kenseth edged him at the line for a Cup Series victory. The memory of that race was on his mind when he returned to the mile oval.

"I've watched it on video and I can run it through my head and remember so many things about how that race finished," Kahne said. "Those are kind of the memories that I have."

Until now.

Kahne withstood Buescher's last-ditch effort on a restart with 20 laps left and had nowhere near as close a finish as last time around. Kahne was a comfortable 1.478 seconds ahead at the checkered flag.

Pole-starter Nelson Piquet Jr. -- Kahne's next-closest competition -- dominated the early stages of the race, leading 85 of the race's first 100 laps. But Piquet became mired in traffic after a lengthy pit stop shuffled him back to fifth during the third of the race's four cautions.

Piquet worked his way back to second place until incurring a pit-road speeding penalty during the final caution period. He rallied to finish seventh.

* Piquet ponders what might have been at Rockingham

King's grasp on the series' points lead fizzled early in the race, when he spun and nosed into the inside wall on the backstretch on Lap 4 to bring out the race's first caution. He returned to the track after repairs, but wound up completing 56 laps and finishing 33rd, dropping him seven spots to eighth in the standings.

"I hate that for him because he's such a good guy and a great teammate," said Peters, now 28 points ahead of King. "If it wasn't for this tire test a couple weeks ago, we might not have been as good when we unloaded. This place is tough to get around."

King was able to return to the track with much of the sheet metal removed from the front of his No. 7 Toyota, but parked after 56 laps with no more positions to gain by staying out.

Notes-n-Nuggets

• Kasey Kahne notched his fourth Truck Series win in his fifth start.
• The Worst finish Kasey Kahne has had in the Truck Series is a second-place finish at Pocono in July 2010.
• Kasey Kahne is the only driver to win in four of his first five starts in the Truck Series.
• In the win, Kasey Kahne led just one time -- the final 46 laps.
• Turner Motorsports is the third different team to win in the Truck Series in 2012.
• This win is the first Truck Series victory for Turner Motorsports.
• James Buescher (second) grabbed his second top-five finish of 2012; ties his best career finish for the fourth time.
• Matt Crafton (third) had best finish of the season, and first top-15 finish in the last four races.
• Johnny Sauter (fourth) earned his first finish better than 24th in 2012.
• Timothy Peters (fifth) is the only driver with top-five finishes in all three races of 2012.
• Nelson Piquet Jr. (seventh) led 107 laps, but was penalized for too-fast-exiting on lap 181 while running second.
• Tyler Young finished 28th in his series debut.

"I knew we were in trouble as soon as someone drove on the outside of us and the truck got really loose in [Turns] 1 and 2," King said. "I think we came around the next lap, and when it went, it went."