Saturday, May 23, 2009
Kahne selected by RPM to test engine
By David Newton
CONCORD, N.C. -- Kasey Kahne will break in Dodge's new engine for Richard Petty Motorsports next weekend at Dover International Speedway.
RPM has been slow in introducing the new R6P8 engine that the other Dodge organization, Penske Racing, has used all season.
Vice president of racing operations Robbie Loomis said last month that the engine would be used at Dover, but he wasn't sure which of RPM's four drivers would use it.
Kahne was selected because officials are confident in the engine's durability and believe the added horsepower will help propel the driver into the Chase.
Kahne is 16th in points, 66 out of the top 12 that make the Chase, heading into Sunday's 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600.
"We feel where we're at he has a good chance at the Chase," Loomis said. "More than anything we want the performance."
A.J. Allmendinger and Elliott Sadler are 25th and 26th, respectively, in points. Reed Sorenson is 23rd.
The No. 36 Cup car driven by Scott Riggs blew an engine in Saturday's practice. The change will not affect his starting position since he already qualified last.
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.