Don’t look now, but even with the bad luck he has had this season, Kasey Kahne, driver of the Farmers Insurance #5 Chevrolet has four top ten finishes in the last 4 races. He comes into Darlington(SC) Saturday Night for a Date With “The Lady In Black” and looking for his first win with his new team, and the 200th win for car owner Rick Hendrick.
After a disastrous start to his season, which started at Daytona in February, and with the exception of a 14th place finish in California, only to continue at Martinsville, seemed to start a turn around at Texas. Since the Samsung Mobil 500, Kasey has a pole, 2 top 5’s and 2 top 10’s, as well as a march Northward in the points standings.
In nine trips to Nascar’s oldest Super Speedway, Kasey has impressive stats. He has started from the pole position 4 times and has 3 top 5’s and 3 top 10’s. This tells me he understands the quirks of this ancient “One Groove” race track. Kasey also holds the lap record at Darlington, which he set last year in the Red Bull Toyota at 27.131(181.250 MPH).
The 32 year old driver from Enumclaw, Washington spent the first five years of his Cup career with Evernham Motorsports, attempting to bring Dodge back into Nascar with 2006 being his best year, with six wins and six poles. Unfortunately, six DNF’s caused him to finish 8th. in the points standings.
After Gillette Evernham closed up shop at the conclusion of the 2008 season, Kasey drove for “The King” for two seasons, going to Victory Lane two times and finishing 10th in the points during the 2009 campaign. This was one of Richard Petty Motorsports better seasons in quite a few years.
In 2011, he drove what had been the storied #4 Morgan McClure car, which had been aquired by Red Bull Racing. He took that car to Victory Lane one time and finished the season 14th. in the points, barely finishing out of the Race For The Chase. Then he got the dream call from Mr. Hendrick, with an offer to drive the #5.
Kasey Kahne has shown he can drive a race car at any level. He has been successful at every stop. With his luck turning around, I believe he has an outside chance of making the chase this year. I also think we will see Kasey Kahne lifting the trophy Saturday Night at Darlington. I think Kasey Kahne is exactly what Team Hendricks needed, a new winner.