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Most weeks, even though 2008 has not been a banner year for Kasey Kahne, his stats make him look like - at least - a dark-horse contender to win. With mile-and-a-half tracks comprising a majority of the Chase races, and Kahne being a relative stud on the intermediates (he swept the two Cup races at Lowes in May) Kasey has been a legit consideration most of the last eight weeks. But not this time.
PIR has not been good to Kahne. Eight races there with three top tens and three finishes of 31st or worse. Zero laps led, a 20th best Loop Driver Rating of 70.9 - compared to stat topper Jimmy Johnson at 118.0 - and an Ave Finish in the last seven races of 23.4. Kahne has run only 39.1 percent of his Laps in the Top 15.
There is no other driver whom I look upon as a consistent contender, that looks as unlikely to win this race, this week. The Dodge teams don’t strike fear into anyone. Budweiser, I would think, must question their selection of the Gillette-Everham/Kasey Kahne choice as the replacement - as if - for Dale Earnhardt Jr and DEI/Chevy.
The results this weekend from the Desert probably won’t help.
Photo credit: BethAnne Heisler - OnPitRow.com