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Motorsports 101 Debate: Which Chase Driver Has Been Most Disappointing So Far?

October 9th, 2013 at 11:00 AM
By Mark Eddinger
After four of the ten Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races have been completed only a handful of drivers seem to be in real contention for the 2013 Championship. A lot has gone wrong for numerous drivers that has seemingly taken them out of contention. Motorsports 101 debates which Chase driver has been the most disappointing.
There is no doubt that the 2013 Chase has had some ups and downs for some drivers. Kasey Kahne has been a huge disappointment in the Chase and has not lived up to what was expected. However, Kahne is not the only driver who has been a disappointment in the Chase. 
Carl Edwards has been bad in the 2013 Chase. He came into the Chase with great momentum after a win at Richmond in September. Yet, he came into Chicagoland and really struggled with an 11th place finish. It was a real shock considering that Roush Fenway Racing is stronger on the intermediate tracks than any other.

The struggles at Chicagoland, then a ninth at New Hampshire and the dismal 35th place finish at Dover due to a late race hub issue have put Edwards 60 points back in the tenth spot in the standings. He finished a good fifth at Kansas but even with that it now looks like he has no shot at a championship. Keep in mind coming into the season this was the team that Matt Kenseth had a lot of success with in 2012 with Jimmy Fennig as crew chief. You know Edwards has one of the best over the wall pit crews in the sport and that benefits him greatly. 
However, he has been off in the Chase and I thought that Roush Fenway had begun to work out their kinks and were going to make a strong run at the Championship. Edwards has proved me wrong and will not make a run at the Championship which was expected. It should be interesting to see how Edwards and his team start 2014.
Although Kasey Kahne entered the 2013 Chase as a wild card driver many including myself thought he was one a few who could truly contend for the championship. But the first four races have been disastrous and have Kahne currently 13th in the points 83 behind leader Matt Kenseth.
Not only will Kahne not win the championship this year he will have to get hot just to make the top ten and go to the end of the year awards banquet.
Kahne was strong on the 1.5 mile tracks in the regular season, picking up three second place finishes in the six races. Then at Chicagoland a 1.5 mile track where the Chase opened he was never a factor and finished 12th. At Kansas it was much of the same and he finished 15th. Those finishes weren't going to keep him in title contention but the 37th place finish in the Chase's second race at New Hampshire was the nail in the coffin to Kahne's season.
He was mad at himself afterward for crashing while trying to pass Brian Vickers. Kahne admitted he should have been more patient and just held position where he was running instead of forcing the issue. The No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team was also off in the third Chase race at Dover where he finished a lap down in 13th.
Kahne is a driver that has a ton of talent but he has never been able to put it altogether to make a title run. His best points finish was fourth last season but in his other eight full seasons he has never finished better than eighth which he did in 2006. It doesn't look like he will better that in 2013 either.

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Tags: Carl Edwards, Clayton Caldwell, Kasey Kahne, Mark Eddinger, Motorsports, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

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