By admin | May 26, 2010
By Richard Allen
2010 started off well enough for Kasey Kahne. He won one of the qualifying races in preparation for the season opening Daytona 500. However, with only three exceptions, not much else has gone well for the native of the state of Washington.
Kahne scored top-10 finishes in Las Vegas, Atlanta and Texas. Other than that, the driver of the #9 Ford has not placed higher than 17th in any of the other nine races this season. As a matter of fact, he has four finishes worse than 30th.
In Saturdayâ€™s Sprint All Star Race Kahne ran so badly that it almost seemed as if Kyle Busch did him a favor by blowing a tire and causing a crash that ended the Richard Petty Motorsports teamâ€™s night early.
A few weeks ago it was announced that Kahne has agreed to leave RPM at the end of the 2010 season to drive for a team yet to be determined. In 2011, he will drive for Hendrick Motorsports. In all likelihood, Kahneâ€™s sponsor, Budweiser, will be leaving RPM as well.
It would seem as though there is little hope for much improvement over the stretch run toward the Chase for the Championship cutoff. Right now, Kahne ranks 21st in the Sprint Cup standings. The way his team is currently running, there is virtually no hope of the driver getting into title contention.
After all, why would RPM allocate its best assets to a driver and sponsor who will leave at the end of 2010. If the company is to survive beyond this year it will have to convince companies to either join them or stick with them. Having Kahne doing well will do little good in that endeavor.
Kasey Kahne fans might as well start looking forward to next year. This one looks to be a very long season of less than stellar results.
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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.
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