Kasey Kahne among those searching for answers in Richmond

Unlike his Hendrick Motorsports teammates, Kasey Kahne has struggled throughout the first eight races of the 2014 season.

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As we head to more short track racing this Saturday night under the lights, I can easily think of three drivers who need a good run. They are Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle. If you told me I had to pick one out of the three that needs it the most, I would have to say Kasey. Unfortunately his season just hasn’t progressed like they had hoped.

Similar to last year, his season has really started off slow. They simply haven’t been able to perform like the other three Hendrick teams, nor how they or we expect them to. They keep finding themselves slipping down in the points. Kasey finished 37th two weeks ago at Darlington due to an accident. That cost him four more spots in the points, and now Kasey finds himself 23rd overall but getting ever-nearer to that cut-off spot of 30th when it comes be being even eligible for the Chase.

I just don’t see the performance yet from the No. 5 car when you compare it to Hamlin or Biffle. That’s why coming off this past Easter weekend, I think Kasey really needs a shot in the arm at Richmond. The good news for Kasey is that he’s won there before. You also can’t lose sight that he’s with a great team and great organization. They just need to get things turned around and pointed in the right direction quickly.

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Understand that I am not saying Kasey has to win Saturday night. He does need to have a solid run and finish high up in the running order. You would be amazed how something like that does to energize not only the driver but everyone associated with the team. You really can’t put a price tag on positive momentum.

When it comes to Greg Biffle’s situation, I think the issue stem more from the organization side than from the driver’s side. When you look at how Team Penske and even Richard Petty Motorsports have been running in their Fords compared to the Roush Fenway Fords, there is clearly a gap there. Roush Fenway does have a win this year with Carl Edwards, but collectively that bunch over there just isn’t running as well as we know they can or should be. So, clearly within the confines of Roush Fenway Racing they have some work that needs to be done to make their cars more competitive.

From the Denny Hamlin side, it’s no secret that the Toyota engines are not quite where they would like them to be after eight races this season. Yes, they have a win, but compared to how dominant they were last year, it’s a big difference from that right now. So, it’s not really any single driver, it’s just the Toyota’s across the board haven’t shown the strength yet from last year nor what has been expected this year.