Bristol Win Special for Hendrick Duo
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on March 18, 2013 | 2:39 P.M. EST
Francis and Kahne celebrate their first win at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)
After the pair came close in the 2007 summer race while at Gillett Evernham Motorsports, Kahne was able to take his first Sprint Cup checkered flag on the legendary Tennessee oval, driving the No. 5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.
"It feels good to win at this place," Kahne said of the lightning-fast half-mile. "It's such a tough track, the way things happen so quickly. To win a Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol feels good. It’s a big accomplishment."
Kahne became the 41st different driver in 105 races to take home the large iconic Bristol trophy. When he got home, Kahne tweeted a photo of the trophy saying, "New centerpiece for the new house."
For Francis, the trip to Victory Lane was special for a number of reasons.
"To get our first win of the season is cool," he said. "Bristol is a crazy place. I've watched so many races over the years and participated in so many, but never won as a crew chief ... or a chief of anything ... so to finally make it is pretty special.
"I still remember those famous races, like where Dale (Earnhardt) spun Terry (Labonte). I've seen a lot of crazy stuff happen. I can remember loading up one night and watching Dale Earnhardt in Victory Lane, with the confetti going off and everything. We were parked real close and I said, 'Wow, I'd love to be there one day.' "
Sunday's win was the 10th at Bristol for Hendrick Motorsports, which moves the organization into a tie with Penske Racing and Roush Fenway for most by active teams.