By admin | January 7, 2009
By Richard Allen
Over the next few days and weeks I will be presenting a review of 2008 and a preview of 2009 for each of the drivers and teams who appear to be set for a full time run in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. For the most part these pieces will run in order by car number. If you should miss out on your favorite driver simply type his name into the search box at the upper right hand portion of the website.
#9- Kasey Kahne
Kasey Kahne’s team will remain pretty much intact despite the fact that everything else within his organization seems to have changed. It appears that the ownership at Gillett Evernham Motorsports has splintered in two. And, GEM’s other teams are in the midst of turnover and legal action.
Kahne’s 2008 proved to be somewhat of a microcosm of his career as a whole. There was a time in which he looked unbeatable only to not quite reach the final goal. For a short time between the Sprint All Star Race and the first race in Pocono the #9 team was indeed unbeatable.
Kahne wound up with two wins, four Top 5s and 14 Top 10s. But, he failed to make the Chase for the Championship and finished a disappointing 14th in the Sprint Cup standings.
In 2009 this team needs to find more consistency. It’s nice to have that stretch in which the team dominates. However, that stretch needs to be followed up with solid finishes and consistent results.
Sponsor, crew and driver return intact to team #9 in 2009.
There is really no reason why the wins and consistent finishes should not happen for this driver and team. However, they need to prove it.
Kahne will win in 2009. The question is what will he do when he does not win?
Driver: Kasey Kahne
Owner: Richard Petty Motorsports
Crew Chief: Kenny Francis
Scanner Frequencies(?): 451.8500 & 452.6500
Chances of making the Chase for the Championship: Good, but not great
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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