ON GROWING UP IN ENUMCLAW, WASH.
Our house was on 50 acres outside of town. There were woods all around, and I rode four-wheelers everywhere. People are easygoing and friendly in Enumclaw [pop. 11,195]. I have a younger brother, [Kale, 22], and an older sister, [Shanon, 26]. We were always together and playing games. I had a great childhood.
ON THE DIRT TRACK HIS FATHER, KELLY, A LOGGING EXECUTIVE, BUILT IN HIS BACKYARD
It was one-eighth of a mile, and it had banked runs. I was eight years old when I started racing four-wheelers against my friends out there. We'd slide all around the track. Then in the winter we'd pour water on our circle driveway so that it would freeze and we'd race on the ice. A great learning experience.
ON PLAYING BASKETBALL AT ENUMCLAW HIGH
I was a decent shooting guard. I enjoyed it, but I always knew racing was my sport.
ON HIS FIRST NEXTEL CUP WIN, ON MAY 14 AT RICHMOND
Easily the best night I've ever had in a race car. We'd come so close to winning so many times [Kahne had finished second six times in his two-year Cup career], to get to Victory Lane was a huge relief. The best thing about it is that I don't have to answer, 'When are you finally going to win?' anymore.
ON HOW HE CELEBRATED HIS FIRST VICTORY
I just rode back to Charlotte in my motor home with Kale. He drove, and I was on my phone taking calls from people congratulating me. We finally pulled in at 5:30 in the morning. It was a long night, but a great one.
ON BEING SINGLE
I love it. I don't have to worry about anybody but myself. Relationships get too complicated.
ON BEING NAMED ONE OF PEOPLE'S 50 HOTTEST BACHELORS
I never knew so many people read that magazine! Since it came out [last June], I get recognized a ton more. I was in Washington, D.C., walking to a restaurant by myself, when a woman pulls up in her car and yells, 'Good job at Richmond!'
ON WHAT HE DOES IN HIS SPARE TIME
My idea of a perfect day is to hang out at the lake [Lake Norman, near Charlotte], tie up the boats out in the water, be with friends and have a few drinks. There's nothing better than that. --As told to Lars Anderson
"I hope my cousin breaks all the records that I put up." --Albert Pujols, Cardinals 1B, RELATIVE SUCCESS, page 38
Photograph by Todd Korol
KAHNE, 25, PICTURED IN ENUMCLAW, WASH., WAS NASCAR'S TOP ROOKIE IN '04. HE HAS FOUR TOP 5 FINISHES IN '05.
CHUCK SOLOMON (PUJOLS)
ROBERT BECK (CAR)