I knew when Kasey Kahne went to work at Hendrick Motor Sports, it would be tough for him to be the pride of the stable with Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Earnhardt Jr in the same organization, but I also knew he had a lot of talent that was being wasted banging around with other organizations. He has established himself in the stable as the solid number two. Jeff Gordon is getting long in the tooth, and isn’t as competitive as he was in the day, and Dale Jr is having another….well…Dale Jr year.
At the start of the 2012 campaign, Kasey had the worst luck of anyone in NASCAR, and spent the entire season digging himself out. I was amazed that he was able to overcome the bad luck, make the chase based on his two wins, and finish fourth in the points standings. I came into the 2013 season with hopes the driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet would have a run at a championship.
Of course, his teammate, Jimmie Johnson has kept a lot of people out of the winners circle over the past seven years, but I thought it might be the year for Kasey Kahne, but lousy luck has him again this year. Instead of having it all at once like he did in 2012, it has come in spurts.
Terrible finishes at Daytona, Talladega to go along with hard luck at Pocono and Michigan have him again teetering on the edge of the chase. He has the one win, at Bristol to keep him in the picture, but being in a tie for 11th position is not good. He is currently tied with Paul Menard who doesn’t have a win yet this season, but Tony Stewart is lurking in the Wild Card picture with one win, and if Jeff Gordon picks up a win, Kasey could find himself on the outside looking in.
Kasey Kahne is at a point in his career where he needs to make some things happen. There are too many young drivers waiting in the wings to get the coveted seats at HMS, and if the 33 year-old driver from Enumclaw Washington wants to keep his ride, he needs to step it up a notch.
Kasey has had success at New Hampshire, Charlotte, and Phoenix in the past three years, and this would be a good time to snag at least one more win to solidify his position. And….there’s Bristol coming up for the night race, maybe lightning can strike twice in the same place. Let’s hope it happens soon.
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