I have been singing the Kasey Kahne song every since the 32 year old driver from Enumclaw, Washington stepped foot into the Hendrick Motor Sports stable. And after he shed the bad luck that was plaguing him early in the season, has lived up to most of my expectations. A blown engine after starting on the pole at Martinsville, and dropping him to 31st in the point system would be the last of everything that was spoiling his season. He would follow with 8 top 10’s in a row, including his first win of the year at Charlotte. What a come back.
Kasey would have a couple of bumps in the road at Pocono and Michigan, but get back on track and win the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire. With a 3rd place finish at the August Michigan race, and a 3rd at Richmond, he would get a 11th place start in the Chase. He had powered his way back from the obscurity of 31st place, and out of most conversations that involved the Chase, to join teammate Jeff Gordon for one of the Wild Card spots.
After his 3rd place finish at Chicagoland last Sunday, he has gotten himself square in the middle of all conversations that are about The Sprint Cup Championship. He will return to the site of his latest victory this weekend at New Hampshire, tied for fourth place with Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin, only 15 points behind series leader Brad Keselowski.
As I have pointed out in the past, the one critical element a team needs to contend for a championship is a great crew chief. The crew chief on the Farmers Insurance Chevrolet is Kenny Francis. Kenny Francis has an impressive resume that includes coming up to Cup competition through Robert Yates Racing, and working on Dale Jarrett’s team which won the 1999 Winston Cup Title. He followed Ray Evernham to help blaze the trail for Dodge’s return to Nascar in 2000. After working with Bill Elliott and Jeremy Mayfield, he was appointed crew chief for Kasey Kahne on the #9 in 2006.
I don’t see anything keeping Kasey Kahne from winning a Sprint Cup Championship in 2012. He works for the best owner in Nascar, he has a crew chief that knows what it takes to win a championship, and now only has to harness all that talent. It’s time for Kasey Kahne to win it all.