Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Dale Jr. Download: Competition deep in the field is as intense as the front

Kasey Kahne says that driving in the Back of the Pack is very competitive, even for racers who are not going for the lead.

In today’s NASCAR, the level of competition is just as tight deep in the pack as it is at the front, according to Kasey Kahne. He should know, because his move from Hendrick Motorsports to Leavine Family Racing has forced him to race with a different group of drivers.

“There are so many cars that are competitive and fast,” Kahne said on this week’s edition of the Dale Jr. Download.

“I race the same group pretty much every weekend and it’s basically 18 to 26, but it’s always those same cars. And it’s just as tough there with what we have going on (there) … as it is from 10th to 17th and then from first to 10th.”

The closeness of competition is most noticeable in qualification. Previously, a slight bobble on the short track could mean the difference of several positions, but that is now noticeable on every track.

“Today, you’re seeing it non-stop and it’s been that way for the last couple of years … last three years, for sure,” Kahne said. “It just always gets tougher, and tougher, and tougher.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has noticed an increase in the competition level since moving into the broadcast booth. At Watkins Glen, he covered the race from the bus stop chicane on the backstretch.

“I could not believe how hard y’all are driving,” Earnhardt said. “I’ve been doing this all my life. … Watching it over and over and over, race after race after race it is so damn impressive to see how hard everybody is going.”

For more, watch the video above.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter