By admin | April 11, 2008
Kahne, Biffle looking to stay on track
By Richard Allen
What Sprint Cup driver won the most races in 2006? What Sprint Cup driver won the most races in 2005?
If you answered Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle respectively give yourself a gold star. Kahne won six races in 2006 while Biffle took six checkered flags in 2005. Unfortunately for the pair, times have not been so good since.
2007 was barely better than a disaster for Kahne. After posting that excellent 2006 season many thought of him as a sure fire contender for race wins and possibly even a championship. Instead, the Gillett- Evernham Motorsports driver had a miserable year.
The 2007 campaign started off well enough for the popular driver with a 7th place finish in the Daytona 500. But from that point on things went downhill. Kahne did not find victory lane a single time last year and only posted one Top 5 and eight Top 10 finishes on his way to a 19th place result in the final season standings.
Kahne was seen more often in commercial breaks than he was during the actual race coverage.
2007 also left a lot to be desired for Greg Biffle. He managed one win, albeit a controversial one, last season to go along with five Top 5 and 11 Top 10 finishes. Like Kahne, Biffle was expected to be among the front runners in 2007 but that rarely proved to be the case. He too missed the Chase for the Championship and wound up 14th in the overall standings.
However, 2008 is looking much better for these two drivers who hail from the state of Washington.
Compared to this time last year, Kahne has improved dramatically. After 7 races a year ago he found himself mired in 33rd place in the point standings. Now, he finds himself in 12th place. He has scored four Top 10 finishes in 2008, already half way to the number he had in all of last season.
Biffle has also made significant gains over last year. He now resides in 8th place of the overall standings while last year at this time he was 17th. With three Top 5 and four Top 10 finishes he is well on his way to besting his totals from a year ago.
This week, the challenge for these two drivers is to stay on track. Both have qualified well for the Subway Fresh Fit 500. Kahne will start 5th while Biffle rolls off in the 18th position. Both have been near the top of the speed charts in the practice sessions held in preparation for the event.
Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle would each like to return to the good times of 2006 and 2005. After last year, it will take time to regain that lofty status but both drivers appear to be on their way. Both are coming off disappointing runs in Texas, so a good result in Phoenix will be essential to keep momentum in their favor.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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