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Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne Go from Wild Cards to Chase Contenders

Before the first practice laps had been run at Daytona this past February, NASCAR experts everywhere were predicting which twelve drivers would qualify for the 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and compete for a championship. Among the "locks" to make the field in the eyes of many were Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne. After all, they were part of what most consider to be the premiere organization in NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports. Gordon was coming off his best season since 2007, and Kahne's win in the season's penultimate race was proof that he and crew chief Kenny Francis could field a dominant car. This was why the early struggles they shared this season had many shaking their heads as they wrote the drivers off as Chase afterthoughts.But ...

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