'In The Loop' - Lowe's Motor Speedway Is Kahne Able? DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 23, 2007) -- Could this be the weekend Kasey Kahne of 2007 returns to the Kasey Kahne of 2006? Sitting 30th in the standings, he'll need a massive surge to make...
'In The Loop' - Lowe's Motor Speedway
Is Kahne Able?
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 23, 2007) -- Could this be the weekend Kasey Kahne of 2007 returns to the Kasey Kahne of 2006?
Sitting 30th in the standings, he'll need a massive surge to make the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
But if there's one track to start the march, Lowe's Motor Speedway would be it. Problem is, he must've been optimistic going into Atlanta and Texas as well, and that didn't pan out as he had hoped.
The success he had last year in winning a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series-high six races hasn't occurred yet this season. The tracks he dominated last year -- the 1.5 mile venues -- haven't treated him quite so graciously.
The stats might help explain it -- or at least highlight some issues the Kahne camp needs to improve.
Additionally, Kahne led 85 laps last year at Atlanta. He failed to lead a single lap in this season's Atlanta race.
Clearly, one of the reasons -- if not the reason -- Kahne has faltered this season is the team's inability to repeat the 2006 success they had on 1.5-mile tracks. The difference in numbers is startling when comparing Atlanta and Texas. Of course, no one knows how the numbers will shake out come Sunday night at what is arguably his best 1.5-mile track in 2006.
It'll make an interesting watch to see if Kahne bucks his 2007 trend. He realizes his team's shortcomings, and addressed it this past week. During Tuesday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teleconference, Kahne said, "We're working hard to get back where we were [last year]. Hopefully, sooner than later, we'll start figuring things out. We've made gains every week for the last month. I think we'll be better this weekend and hopefully, we'll have a shot at a top 15 at the end of the night."