California Dreamin': Kasey Kahne at Fontana

Billy FellinCorrespondent IFebruary 21, 2009

Kasey Kahne had a rough Daytona 500. While being able to miss “The Big One”, which in this year’s race was the 10-car pile up that was the aftermath of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brian Vickers tangling up in the front of the pack.

Kahne was not as fortunate to make it through the entire race unscathed, however. In the race’s later stages, Kahne got caught up in a wreck behind the number eight car of Aric Almiroa from DEI. Kahne’s car hadn’t been one of the strongest cars on the day, but he had been making a charge to the front at the time of the wreck.

Kahne was the only Richard Petty Motorsports car not to finish in the Top 10. For the “star” of the team, this certainly needs to turn around and fast.

To be fair of course, the wreck wasn’t Kahne’s fault. That’s just how it goes at Daytona. However, being 29th in the standings is still 29th in the standings.

Along comes the Auto Club 500 in Fontana. After Saturday’s qualifying, Kahne will start 22nd.

Kahne’s career at Fontana has been rather good for him. He has an average finish of 13th, with seven top 10s, three top 5s and one win at California, according to

While Kahne’s starting position certainly isn’t ideal. However, I think that given his history at Fontana, he will be able to figure out the track and probably contend for a Top 10 finish.

Richard Petty Motorsports is coming off a stellar weekend in Daytona for the 19, 43 and 44 teams. The boys for Budweiser were left out on that party, but I think they’ll be celebrating a good finish after the Auto Club 500 is finished.

Kahne still needs to find some consistency if he wants to make the Chase this year. Granted, it’s only the second race of the season, but getting consistently good finishes can never start too early.