What a day for sports! For the joy that Memorial Day Sunday brings to a Sports Fan, it takes away on Monday. We were treated to two of the best races I’ve seen lately(I missed the Monaco GP), a Golf Championship from Colonial, NBA Western Conference Championship game one, and a dandy Sunday Night Baseball match-up. I don’t know about you, but my remote control was busy until almost midnight.
Both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca Cola 600 were very good races. The Indy cars have went through a Chassis Change that produced a record 34 lead changes among ten different leaders. The change produced one of the best Memorial Day races I’ve seen in a while. After an early pit road incident, race winner Dario Franchetti drove to the front and withstood a last lap move by Takuma Sato to take the Checkered Flag, putting his name on the Borg Warner Trophy for a third time. Team Target’s owner Chip Ganassi would not fare as well at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
If you read my blog from yesterday, I had told you that the driver who could keep up with the track changes the best would drive to Victory Lane. I also told you to watch out for Kasey Kahne and the Farmers Insurance #5 Chevrolet. Kasey and Crew Chief Kenny Francis knew early in the evening that they had a Rocket Ship, and all they would need to do is make minor adjustments, stay close to the leaders, and the track would eventually come to them.
And come to them it did. With 40 laps remaining, Kasey Kahne took his Hendricks Motorsports Chevrolet to the front, and took a lead that he would not relinquish until the checkered flag flew.
If you were watching the broadcast as I was, when they showed pictures from the cockpit, you could see Kasey looked to be on a Sunday afternoon drive in the park instead of leading a pack of cars around Charlotte Motor Speedway at 185 Miles Per Hour. His car was hooked up and on a rail
Kasey Kahne’s victory Sunday Night was the 13th of his career and the 1st while working for his new boss Rick Hendrick, who now has win 201 in the bag. After a shaky start to the 2012 season and some bad luck, Kahne has posted seven top ten finishes in as many races and pulled into 15th place in the standings, 123 points behind leader Greg Biffle. He now has that all important win under his belt to at least contend for a Wild Card berth in the chase.
I look for Kasey Kahne and the #5 car to have another win or two before seasons end. Kasey has always had a ton of talent, and now he is in equipment that he can contend for a Sprint Cup Title with. With former Hendricks Champion Jeff Gordon having a bad year, I’m sure the rest of the garage area didn’t want to have to deal with another Super Star from that stable. But here it is, another legitimate annual contender.
The #5 Hendricks car has not seen a Cup Championship since Terry Labonte hoisted the trophy at Atlanta Motor Speedway at the end of the 1996 season.