2013 Season Preview: No. 6 Kasey Kahne

As we count down to the 2013 Daytona 500, we're also counting down how we think the Chase will play out this season as predicted by Nick Bromberg, Jay Busbee, Jay Hart and Geoffrey Miller. So sit back, relax, and watch the 2013 Chase unfold before your very eyes. Though you should be warned, we picked Carl Edwards to win last year.

2012 Finish: 4th. 2 wins (Charlotte and New Hampshire)

2013 Predictions:
Bromberg: 5th
Busbee: 5th
Hart: 8th
Miller: 7th

Crew Chief: Kenny Francis

When we last saw Kahne: He was sneakily hanging around on the periphery of the championship discussion until a 25th place finish at Texas derailed any thoughts of Kahne winning the title. After moving up to third with a third place finish at Phoenix, Kahne was 21st at Homestead and finished fourth.

Big Question for 2013: What's the second act? Kahne had some Jeff Gordon type luck int he first part of the season and through six races was 31st in the points standings. Mind you, that was a six race stretch that Kahne had two poles; speed wasn't an issue. That was proven as Kahne immediately reeled off seven straight top 10 finishes, and by the time the circuit left Dover after the season's 13th race, he was 14th in the points standings.

Track most likely to win at: Charlotte may belong to another Hendrick driver besides Jimmie Johnson. Kahne has finished in the top 12 in nine of the last 11 Charlotte races. Those two efforts came consecutively in his last race at the track for Richard Petty Motorsports and his first race for Red Bull Racing.

Track most likely to require a miracle to win at: It's not his worst track statistically, but Kahne has never finished in the top 10 at Watkins Glen. He finished 13th last year -- his highest career finish there.

How Kahne could win the Chase: Kahne ran strongly at Martinsville last season and grabbed his first win at New Hampshire, two tracks he hadn't excelled at in the past. And they're Chase tracks to boot. Couple strong performances again there with Kahne's continued excellence at the 1.5 mile tracks that make up the Chase and there's your recipe for a title.

How Kahne couldn't: Those strong Martinsville performances weren't an indication of things to come and that, coupled with an average finish at Dover, derails his chances at a title. Though let's be honest, it's hard to make a compelling case for Kahne not to win the championship, so that speaks to how strongly he's viewed as a contender.

A Haiku:
I got a haircut
Much shorter than my old one
Low maintenance too

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