Many people think the Chase of the Sprint Cup championship is down to two guys. They think it’s now a race between Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski and aren’t giving Clint Bowyer or Kasey Kahne much of a chance. But if I had to choose one guy out of that four not named Johnson to win the title, it’s Kahne.
I think Kahne can not only head to Miami second in the championship, but he can win the Cup this year. The series goes to two very good tracks the next two weeks for Kahne before the finale in Homestead.
Back in April, Texas was the track that got Kahne going on a tear of a run to get him to where he is today. After six straight races to start the year off with no top 10′s and a best finish of 14th, Kahne found himself buried deep in the standings in 31st place.
At Texas, Kahne had a strong car and with a seventh place finish gave the No. 5 team the momentum they needed. The strong night would propel him to seven straight top 10 finishes, including a win in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, that moved him from 31st to 14th in the standings. After a couple of bad races he would go on a string of six more top 10 finishes in the 10 races before the Chase, including another win which secured his Chase berth.
During the Chase Kahne has been very solid with five top 10 finishes in the seven races so far, including four top fives, with two of them coming in the last two weeks. He’s positioned himself nicely as he’s only 29 points out of the leading heading into two very strong tracks for him.
Kahne has got 12 wins on tracks like Texas and is typically at his best on 1.5 tracks. He won at a similar track in Charlotte earlier in the year and should be a factor on Sunday.
After Texas, the series heads to Phoenix where he’s really good. He stole a win there last year with Red Bull Racing (seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?) at this same Phoenix race and if he runs like that again will be a factor.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Kahne can land in victory lane in one or both of the upcoming races and put himself in the title conversation heading into Miami. Statistics show he can be.
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