Everything was splendid going into the 2012 season for Kasey Kahne. The much anticipated move to Hendrick Motorsports saw the ever-promising union with a potentially dynamic and popular racer in Kasey Kahne that would include his longtime crew chief Kenny Francis. This almost looked too good to be true.
Well, up until now, the performance of the #5 Chevrolet with major sponsorship from Farmers Insurance had been anything but good. In fact, it's been dismal. After six races, Kahne was 31st in the point standings - yes, that's right 31st.
The oddity up to this point has been the lack of decent results because Kahne has been posting great qualifying efforts including two poles; and, except for the opener at Daytona, they've had all their starts in the Top 10.
Better results - finally
Kasey won a Truck race at Rockingham and there was speculation that it might propel him and his Cup team - and indeed it just may have.
Finally, over the last three events, the results have started to mirror the starts with a seventh at Texas (started fifth), an eighth at Kansas and finally a top five at Richmond (he started ninth at the last two races). With these three solid outcomes, Kahne has moved up the points ladder to 23rd.
His fifth place finish at Richmond was neither dominating nor ordinary. He was in the Top 10 most of the night but never really challenged for the lead (source - SpeedTV). However, considering the teams past results, I'm sure the whole team is happier for now.
Talladega is next but the giant 2.66 mile super speedway has never been a particularly good track for Kahne although he finished sixth last fall.
One area of concern is that Kahne has not led a lap yet and there's still quite a hill for the #5 team to climb before they can consider the Chase. But more results like the past few should give them the impetus to eventually grab a win or two before this season's over. Then everyone will have forgotten about the terrible start and the fact it took nine races for Kahne to collect his first top five.
Source - NASCAR, Racing Reference
Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus for several years has blogged about every type of racing.
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