Kasey Kahne has donned the Quaker State hood design on the No. 5 Chevy two times this season, the last coming in his lone win at Charlotte May 27.
He will fittingly return to the paint design for this weekend’s Quaker State 400 at the Kentucky Speedway hoping that it brings him more luck. Kahne needs a little jump start to get his season back on track after mediocre-poor finishes in his last three races.
It was an awful start to the season for Kahne in his first season with Hendrick Motor Sports as he had an average finish of 28th. His highest finish during those first six races was 14th at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at California. After those races Kahne got on a roll and finally settled into a nice groove posting eight straight top-10 finishes, including his win in Charlotte. During that span he was able to jump from 31st to 14th in the Sprint Cup points standings, a huge improvement from the dreadful start to his season.
He has slipped back to 17th in the points standings but with about 20 races left in the season he has some time to jump into the top 12 in the standings to secure a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. If he does want to end his three season streak of missing the Chase, Kentucky can be a good place to start.
Last year was the inaugural season for the Kentucky race and Kahne finished in 13th place. Kahne does well in intermediate oval tracks, like Kentucky’s 1.5 mile tri-oval, with five of his career victories coming at this those type of tracks. The driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet thinks he can get turn things around this weekend:
“The No. 5 team has been at its best on the intermediate ovals. We had a streak of really strong races, and then caught some bad luck the last few weeks. I think we have a good chance to turn things around in Kentucky.”
Kahne’s career has been full of promise but he has yet to break through the expectations and accomplish something. He won Rookie of the Year in 2004 but has only finished as high as 8th in the standings since.
He’s full of potential but now he needs to deliver. There’s no longer the excuse of a weak team or equipment, Hendrick is top-notch and now Kasey Kahne needs to prove that he belongs with the big-boys.