Kasey Kahne has proven he is one of NASCAR's promising young drivers after qualifying for the Chase in 2006, just his third year in the Cup series.
Kasey Kahne slumped in his second year despite picking up his first career Cup victory, falling from 13th in the final points in 2004 to 23rd in 2005.
Kasey Kahne excelled in 2004 in all three of NASCAR's top series: He had 13 top-fives and 14 top-10s in his first full season racing Cup; had nine top-fives and 14 top-10s in 30 Busch races; and won both Craftsman Truck races he started.
The driver who replaced "Awesome Bill from Dawsonville" Elliott in Ray Evernham's No. 9 Dodge recorded five second-place finishes and the rookie of the year award in 2004. Kasey Kahne was named one of "America's Top 50 Bachelors" that year by People magazine.
The frenzy surrounding Kasey Kahne began early in the Washington state native's life. In 1994 he won four Micro-Midget events racing a car prepared by his father. In 1996 Kasey Kahne won 11 of 14 Mini-Sprint events to win both the Hannigan (Wash.) Speedway and Northwest Mini-Sprints championships.
Steve Lewis, former employer of Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, offered Kasey Kahne an opportunity to race Sprint, Midget and Silver Crown series in 2000. That year Kasey Kahne won the USAC Midget championship and was named that series' national driver of the year, and was rookie of the year in the USAC Silver Crown Series.
From 1998-2000, Kasey Kahne competed in the World of Outlaws, Gumont Racing Series, All-Star Circuit of Champions and Northern Sprint Tour racing circles, and in 2001 raced in the Atlantic Series and Formula Ford 2000 Series. Kasey Kahne won the "Night before the 500" Classic at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 2000 and in 2001, became the first driver to post back-to-back victories in the annual event since Jeff Gordon in 1989 and 1990.
Kasey Kahne began his NASCAR career in 2002 running 20 Busch races with one top-10. In 2003 Kasey Kahne recorded his first victory, in the series finale at Homestead, and finished the year with four top-fives and 14 top-10s and a seventh-place ranking in the final point standings.
Also in 2003 Kasey Kahne became the first Washington native to win back-to-back titles in the Jim Raper Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Washington.
In May 2005 Kasey Kahne started from the pole and won at Richmond for his first Cup victory. Kasey Kahne had five top-fives and eight top-10s. Kasey Kahne also posted two Busch wins that season.
Hometown: Enumclaw, Washington
Birthday: April 10, 1980