Matt Kenseth vs. Kasey Kahne: Who is More Likely to Contend for a NASCAR Championship?

Mike DiNovo-USA Today Images

It is never too early to consider a possible championship fight. NASCAR has had many of them after all, especially since switching to a playoff style format aka the Chase for The Sprint Cup.

But to some, the chase has a different name. “The Kenseth Rule” as some call it, is only in existence because of Matt Kenseth’s epic 2003 championship performance that featured zero wins.

One of the beneficiaries of the chase system, at least last year, was certainly Kasey Kahne. The Hendrick Motorsports driver struggled at the beginning of the year, but found his stride and received one of the wild cards last season along with teammate Jeff Gordon.

Currently, Kasey Kahne sits second in the point’s standings. His performances at mile and a half tracks are reminiscent of the Kahne that absolutely dominated races with blistering speed during the beginning of his career.

Meanwhile, after a slow start, preseason championship favorite Kenseth has found his form with Joe Gibbs Racing. The ever-consistent Kenseth has a tendency to struggle to find victory lane, but now owns both victories at the newly-paved Kansas Motor Speedway. Kenseth also was victorious at Talladega SuperSpeedway, one of the chase tracks, last year.

Although only eight races into a still-young season, one fourth of the races involved a 1-2 finish from Kenseth and Kahne. Both were at one and a half mile tracks, the previous one being at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

In my opinion, Kahne should see a more successful summer, finding himself in victory lane a lot especially as mile and a half tracks appear more frequently on the schedule. But Kenseth is only getting better, and the Joe Gibbs Racing team has never been in a better position to have all of its cars competing for an owner’s championship.

If the beginning of the season serves any precedent, I believe these two will be the final two drivers in contention when the series ends its season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with Matt Kenseth winning it all.

Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486