By admin | May 30, 2012
By Richard Allen
Earlier this year I wrote a piece in which I declared that should Kasey Kahne win the Sprint Cup title in 2012 it would be a farce because of how poorly he started off the season. I still stick to that because for him to win a championship he will have to rely on a major gift in the form of a points re-set following the season’s 26th race. However, this driver and team have climbed much further up the standings than it would have seemed possible just a few weeks ago.
After the sixth race of the season in Martinsville, Kahne fell to a low point of 31st in the Sprint Cup standings. But since then, the #5 Hendrick Motorsports team has run off a series of six consecutive top-10 finishes which included his recent win in the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend. That has moved the Enumclaw, Washington driver all the way up to 15th in the standings.
While that string of finishes and Kahne’s run up the standings ladder has been remarkable, it may not necessarily have been surprising. His Hendrick Motorsports team had provided fast cars for him, even during his stretch of bad luck that including mechanical troubles and crashes. The #5 Chevrolet had started from the pole position twice during those first six races so the signs were there to indicate speed was in place. It was just a matter of finishing the races to take advantage of that speed.
Some might argue that Kahne was simply underperforming in the sport’s best equipment during the early part of the season but misfortune can still be a difficult curse to overcome. Just look at his HMS teammate Jeff Gordon for proof of that.
Currently, Kahne finds himself 123 points behind series leader Greg Biffle and 42 points in back of 10th place Carl Edwards.
I am not a fan of the Chase for the Championship system. And as I stated back on April 2nd, I would have a hard time regarding a title by him after so many poor races to be legitimate unless he is able to make up enough distance to at least put himself within shouting distance of the standings leaders. That goes for any driver who has or will be given a chance to essentially pull even just for staying in the top-10 or getting a wildcard bid.
I am not against Kasey Kahne. As a matter of fact, him winning is good for the sport. So with my personal feelings regarding the Chase aside, his comeback has been a remarkable one. His season to this point has certainly been an up and down roller coaster ride. Now it’s just a question of whether he can have more ups than downs over the course of the next 13 races.
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