As we draw within sight of the Chase, let's take a look back at how the season has gone so far for NASCAR's top teams. We conclude, appropriately enough, with Red Bull Racing, apparently in its final chapter in Sprint Cup.
Drivers: Kasey Kahne (currently 15th in the standings), Brian Vickers (currently 27th)
Overall accolades: One pole, zero wins, four top-5s, 12 top-10s, two DNFs.
High point: The moment Brian Vickers returned to the track. A scary blood disorder sent him to the hospital last year and put his entire career at risk. The fact that he's out on the track is testament to his own will and a bit of good fortune. Sure, he hasn't exactly lit up the track, but he's there. As for Kahne? He's run reasonably well in his one-year stint, but he's like one of those special guest stars on TV that swoops in, grabs attention and leaves.
Low point: The news that there probably won't be a Red Bull Racing in NASCAR this time next year. Financial details are yet to be sorted out, and there could be a possibility that the team could be saved, but it's looking like Red Bull is closing its doors on Sprint Cup, which is a shame.
Outlook for the Chase and beyond: Vickers won't make it this year. Kahne needs at least one win, and he could do it soon. But he'll have to show more consistency and the ability to run ahead of the messes that have seemed to collect him so often this year.
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