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Kasey Kahne making up for slow start

Mar 23, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT

Auto Club 400 - Practice Getty Images

Kasey Kahne is steadily making his way up the Sprint Cup standings after posting sub-par results in the season’s opening events.

Kahne’s victory last Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway vaulted him into the Top 10 in the Cup championship, and he comes to Auto Club Speedway sitting seventh at 42 points off leader Brad Keselowski. His win at “Thunder Valley” came off a strong performance the previous week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where he converted a Top 5 start (fourth) into a runner-up finish.

Those runs come after finishing 36th in the Daytona 500 due to getting caught in a early, multi-car crash, and then finishing 19th at Phoenix International Raceway following a front-row start.

“We got a little behind, but these points will get us up there again, and hopefully we can stay up there all season long,” Kahne said. “We just keep learning and getting better together, because we have a great team here. We’ve gained a lot of spots here in the last two weeks, and I feel really good about where we’re at, where our team’s at.

“There was a lot that went on during the off-season to get a little bit better. I felt like each one of us needed to get a touch better. So far, it’s all paying off. The guys are doing an awesome job.”

Kahne has collected two top-10s in his last three starts at ACS, where he won in 2006. He expects the racing to be very strong there this weekend with the Generation 6 machines, which are getting their first taste of the track this weekend.

“I just think that you’re going to be able to drive it in the corner harder, make more aggressive moves getting into the corner and through the middle of the corner, and that’s something that we haven’t had there before,” he said this week. “So to me, it’s going to create a much better race to where you’ll be able to pass and make those moves a little bit easier is what I’m hoping for.”

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