AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Kasey Kahne looked to have a fast car in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying at Phoenix International Raceway before smoke began unexpectedly pouring out of his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in the first of three rounds.
Kahne coasted toward the entrance of pit road off Turn 4. The car did not appear to have any flames coming from under the hood and, after a few minutes, it was towed to the garage.
"I got out of the car about when it started smoking but I shut the car off in Turn 1 after I took the lap and then in Turn 3 it started smoking a little," Kahne said. "And then I could here it running so I shut everything off, batteries, everything in there. I got out and it was still running. It just kept running until I drove away in the ambulance and then it just shut off. I'm just really confused on what was going on. I really have no idea."
At the time of the incident, which brought out a red flag, Kahne had recorded the second-fastest lap at 137.190 mph in the opening round of the three-round group qualifying. By the time the round concluded, Kahne was credited with recording the third-fastest lap.
Because he was unable to make it out for the second round of qualifying, Kahne will be assigned the 24th starting spot for Sunday's Good Sam 500 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The team is going to a backup engine. As a result, Kahne will start at the rear of the field when the field takes the green flag for Sunday's race.
The 35-year-old enters the weekend 13th in the standings and coming off his first top 10 of the year (a 10th-place finish at Las Vegas). In 23 starts at Phoenix, Kahne has one win (in November of 2011) with five top-five finishes and eight top-10 finishes. In this race last year, Kahne recorded a fourth-place finish.