NASCAR fans- and Kasey Kahne fans in particular-received a rare treat this morning when the NASCAR superstar stopped by the Richmond International Raceway ticket office today to lend a hand to a very busy group of employees that is preparing for the NASCAR doubleheader on September 8-9.
Although the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 on Saturday, September 9 is sold out, Kahne took orders from fans who had yet to purchase a ticket for Friday's on-track activities, which will include Fas Mart qualifying for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 and the Emerson Radio 250 NASCAR Busch Series race later that night.
Kahne took orders from fans who stopped by in person - some of whom waited patiently since 6:00 a.m. to meet him - and many others who called during his one-hour shift in the ticket office.
"That was really a lot of fun," Kahne said. "The fans at Richmond are great and it was really cool to see so many of my fans come out today to meet me. I'm really looking forward to coming back here in a few weeks to try and nail down a spot in 'The Chase.'"
As far as his real job goes, Kahne currently sits in 11th place in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points standings despite co-leading the series in wins with four. Kahne knows he simply needs to be more consistent to secure his place in the coveted top 10. After the Chevy Rock & Roll 400, only the top 10 drivers in the standings will be eligible to win the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championship. Those 10 drivers will battle it out against a full field of drivers over the last 10 races to determine this year's champion.
"It seems so long since we had a win, it doesn't even seem like I've won four," Kahne said. "We just need to be more consistent, that's the bottom line, and we haven't been consistent at all lately. But all of the tracks that are coming up (Michigan, Bristol, California and Richmond) are really good for us, so I like our chances. All of the guys in front of me all the way up to the sixth spot don't really have anything guaranteed. So it's going to be a tough fight the next few weeks and I'm really excited that the top 10 will be decided at Richmond. We've won here [Kahne recorded his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victory at Richmond in May of last year] and I really like the track, it's one of my favorites."
Although tickets for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 are no longer available, fans still have the opportunity to catch many NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers in the always-exciting NASCAR Busch Series Emerson Radio 250, set for Friday, September 8 "under the lights." Chesterfield, Virginia's own Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, defending champion Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, J.J. Yeley and Reed Sorenson are among the list of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series regulars who plan to enter the Emerson Radio 250.
Tickets for that day will also include FasMart Pole Qualifying for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. Fans can purchase tickets online at www.rir.com or by calling 1-866-455-RACE (7223). Reserved seats are $45 in advance and $50 the day of the race. General admission seating is $35 in advance and $40 the day of the race. Children 12 and under are admitted free in general admission seating with a ticketed adult Friday night.