Sometimes the win goes to those who survive. Kasey Kahne didn’t need GPS to find victory lane Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but one had to wonder if he wasn’t headed down the perilous path to irrelevance. Congratulations Kasey, you’re making good headlines again.
So the question is posed to you, fellow fan, does this change the Kasey Kahne is on his way out from Hendrick Motorsports narrative? Is Sunday’s victory in the Brickyard 400 merely delaying the inevitable? Is this beginning of a Kahne revival? How does one really know when a driver is just going through a rough patch, or if he or she is washed up?
There are already fans arguing that Kasey Kahne is the recipient of good fortune. Kyle Busch looked stout, then had a chance meeting with Martin Truex Jr. that didn’t go well. Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Trevor Bayne were also contenders. Kahne will also be the first to tell you pit strategy played in his favor as much as anything. Still, you have to first finish to finish first, and Kahne accomplished it.
You know, some drivers are incapable of capitalizing on good fortune. Either the car isn’t up to snuff, the pit crew fails in the clutch, or the driver perhaps lacks the killer instinct to close the deal. Luck plays a part in some victories, but then there are those who sure get lucky a lot. That is to say, they make their own luck.
The case of Kasey Kahne is a tricky one. He drives for arguably the best organization in NASCAR. On the other hand, it’s not like he’s been some career long underachiever either. Let’s not forget in 2006, when young Kahne won six of his 18 career Cup victories. In the latter part of the most recent decade, the 37-year old was hawking everything from car insurance to flavored water. Now, there’s been ample speculation that William Byron would take over the ride in 2018, now that Alex Bowman has been tabbed to succeed Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the 88.
It’s too easy to say that Kahne has punched his ticket to survival. There’s enough season left to determine whether or not this has given his fortunes a boost, or if it was a case of a dog having his day. Whatever the case, Kasey Kahne is a happy and relieved man today, breathing a breath of fresh momentum.
Silly season may have gotten even more silly.