Start ‘N’ Park Blog is taking a look back at the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver by driver. This recap will take a look at the driver’s stats, the season’s highlights, the season’s lowlights, what a quick look at next year. This installment takes a look back at Kasey Kahne who finished in the 4th place in the final standings.
Preseason Pick: 8th
Top 5s: 12
Top 10s: 19
What Was Said Prior To The Season:
“I really want to put Kasey Kahne higher on the list, I just couldn’t bring myself to it. Nothing against Kahne, just how the competition is currently in the Sprint Cup Series. He had an amazing run at the end of 2011 with a Red Bull team that was going nowhere, so given the tools and resources of Hendrick Motorsports one can only imagine what will happen. I think solid 8th place finish this year, next year a bit higher, and 2014 we’re looking at a legitimate title contender.”
What Happened In 2012:
Kahne almost did the unthinkable and pull of a title in 2012. Ok, maybe it wasn’t as close as I’m making it sound, but he was most impressive in his first go with Hendrick Motorsports. He picked up two wins, Charlotte in May and New Hampshire in July. Those got him into the Chase, and once in the Chase he had the consistency to raise himself from 11th to fourth in points. Like teammate Jeff Gordon, he had a few down races, take them out and it’s a different conversation we’re having on the final run down.
On To 2013:
I might have to revamp my three year plan for Kahne, I had him “a bit higher” in the points for 2013, but he will be a title threat. I foresee more wins and more consistency with Kahne and Kenny Francis at the helm.