Kahne Needs A Manufacturer Switch


Three weeks ago, Kasey Kahne was given the best engine Dodge has.

He has since been to a pair of his favorite tracks, Pocono and Michigan. Both times, he finished outside the top 10.

It hasn’t been due to lack of performance. Kahne was running 2nd at Pocono and 8th at Michigan before fuel strategy came into play.

Unfortunately, under a newly passed NASCAR rule, it is required that every Dodge in the field folds at the mere mention of a fuel mileage race.

Okay, not really. But if you look at the last few weeks, you would certainly think that was the case.

Two weeks ago at Pocono, the leaders pitted with 42 laps remaining. Kahne was forced to bring his Dodge down pit road with 12 laps remaining. Meanwhile, Tony Stewart in a Chevy, Carl Edwards in a Ford, and David Reutimann in a Toyota all made it to the end on fuel.

Oh, and AJ Allmendinger, who pitted his Dodge inside 40 laps to go, ran dry on the final lap.

Last week at Michigan, Kahne once again pitted when everyone else did. He even conserved more fuel than everyone else by coasting on the apron in the corners, which cost him 8 positions.

While guys like Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon in their Chevys and Edwards in a Ford made it to the end on fuel, Kahne ran dry on the final lap.

So twice in two weeks, fuel mileage has killed Kahne’s hopes of a top 10 finish. But that shouldn’t mean changing manufacturers, should it?

No, the fact that Dodge has always been a step behind the competition should.

Even in a year where Kurt Busch has returned to championship form and Kahne has been running consistently(sometimes), Dodge is still behind. Busch has been non-existent at times, and Kahne has had his share of disasters. And don’t get me started on guys like Elliott Sadler.

Dodge has not been an embarrassment this year. But they still aren’t at the same level as everyone else. You can see that just by looking at the points standings, where only a single Dodge sits in a Chase spot.

And with Kahne’s car owner, Richard Petty stating that Dodge has pulled support from their team, it should only be a matter of time before Richard Petty Motorsports make the inevitable switch to Toyota, or maybe Honda or Nissan.

Hmm, Kahne driving a Budweiser Nissan Z sounds kinda cool.

Whatever happens, Kasey Kahne, and everybody at RPM, needs a manufacturer switch.

Tags: Dodge Kasey Kahne Richard Petty Motorsports

  • Charles

    No Kahne doesnt need to change brands of cars!

    Nascars needs to even it up in the car brand competition!

    GM has been Nascars brand of choice for years! Check out who has won 70% of the Titles, and laps led and you get the picture!

    I would not complain but just let another brand try to do that and see what happens, rule changes!

    Let see in the late ninties after GM had domitated the sport with Dale SR Jeff Gordons titles they got a new SB2 Engine!

    Then after complete domination in the mid 2000s,after winning and leding the most laps they got a new RO7 engine! I mean where are the “competetion directors”!

    With GM now cutting back on Nascar it will be interesting to see how much money was going to Nascar or the teams!

    GM has great cars and teams but so do the others!

    • hopper

      I agree with you about NASCAR needing to even up the competition. I still think Kahne needs a manufacturer change simply because Dodge can’t even keep up with Ford and Toyota.

      But I agree on NASCAR needing to even it up. You may have given me an idea for a future article…

  • Ron

    If you look at history, Nascar has always been partial to Chevys,go backin the 60`s when the Hemi and the Cobra Jets were roaring around the tracks the chevy just couldn`t keep up then rule change, the cars with hemi engines was tag with extra weight and restrictor plate, the ford engine was banned totally. Another instance was when wild Bill and the boy from Dawsonville was running wild rule change, they blamed it on Bobby tearing the fence down at Talladega before that GM didn`t have anything that was within 10 mph of his ford. Sterling Marlin had 1 hell of a Dodge in I think the year was 2001 or 2002 they had an engine at that time that could supposedly turn(9500 rpm)while Chevy could turn only (8700 rpm),in mid year they did an engine rule change, PLEASE look at the history of NASCAR and tell me how many times something like this have happened,not only did they have a engine rule change they made them change the body of the car no more body shifting.This engine rule change my friend was the start of Dodge as being the third red headed stepchild.

  • hopper

    Yeah, I’ve noticed during the past few years that NASCAR is trying to help the bow-ties. Especially when you look at how when the Fords and Dodges were doing well, changes were made. But then the CoT came along, the Chevys dominated, and nothing has been done.

    But regardless of whose fault it is, Dodge still isn’t good, and Kahne needs a manufacturer switch, because you know NASCAR isn’t going to help Dodge.

  • Ron

    Toyota needs to thank Dodge, because their engines were created from the design of mighty Mopar motor that Dodge tried to get approved for cup racing but were not successful in doing so. From what I am gathering from your article if Kasey switch to a Chevy he would be more successful. My thinking is NASCAR let the other manufactures do what they do best,then Chevy would not be as good as they are.

  • hopper

    No, I never said if Kahne switched to a Chevy he would be more successful. I said if he switched to any other manufacturer besides Dodge he’d be more successful. In fact, the only manufacturer I singled out was Nissan, and implied that he may drive for Honda or Toyota.

  • Ron

    Hey hopper Kasey did it today in a Dodge besting Hendrick,Roush and Toyota.

    • hopper

      I saw that, and was very happy.

      So does that mean that NASCAR has evened out the competition?

  • Ron

    Not by any stretch of my imagination, Richard said it best”we managed to slip this in”. Also heard on Sirius radio a rumor that Kasey was suppose to drive a Toyota later this year.

  • hopper

    Yes, as soon as Dodge and RPM iron out an agreement over how much money Dodge owes them, RPM will be putting Kahne in a Toyota.

    Wonder if they were listening to me… :)

    • hopper

      Have since heard from Jayski.com that this is not the case… Don’t know what’s going on.