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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Will Kasey Kahne be the next Jimmie Johnson?, or the next Dale Earnhardt Jr?

Everyone is singing a similar refrain about Kasey Kahne this week. It goes along these lines: "If he can win with Red Bull and its closing team, imagine all the races he'll win in Hendrick equipment!"

Hold the phone, I say.

While I know Kasey is a talented driver, and should do well at Hendrick next year and beyond, don't go anointing him a championship contender quite yet.

We went through this a few years back with Dale Earnhardt Jr. He was sure to win tons of races at Hendrick Motorsports, right?

Yeah, that's working out well.

So in short, while I think it's possible Kahne will come out strong at Hendrick and rack up wins and title contending seasons, I wouldn't bet a nickel on it, as it's far from a guarantee.

Three cheers to the end of the Jimmie Johnson era
Every year they tried to knock him off his pedestal, and every year he shooed them aside. This year, the law of averages has caught up with Jimmie, and he will not claim a sixth straight title.

As annoying as it was to watch one team dominate in NASCAR for so long, I have to say it's a mighty tough feat to accomplish. Even if Johnson never wins another title -- and that's not necessarily going to happen; he could grab a few more before he retires -- Jimmie will always be listed with the greatest drivers of all time, whether we are listing them 10 years from now or 100 years from now. His domination, in an era that was arguably more competitive than the eras of Earnhardt and Petty, make him one of the greatest of all time.

All fans, even those who can't stand the sight of Jimmie, have to recognize that. So kudos on your run Jimmie, but I'm glad someone else will finally get a turn at the head table in Vegas.

Who's the champ?
Speaking of the new champ, who's it gonna be?
One argument is that Tony is so hot right now, he is the favorite. The other argument is that Carl is always great at Homestead, and should be able to hold off Tony.

Basicallly, whoever finishes in front of the driver will likely be your champ; this is the type of drama NASCAR envisioned when the Chase began.

It will be a thriller for the ages; and I'm going to pick Carl as the winner. Either way, I won't be upset. Both drivers would be deserving champs ... whether it's a first title for Carl or a third title for Tony.

I just don't see Tony's luck continuing the way it has the past few weeks. I predict Edwards wins at Homestead to put a capper on his championship season, with Tony a spot or two behind on the grid.

Whatever happens, it's bound to be exciting.

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