A great victory, but is it too little too late for Kasey Kahne?

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers were hitting Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400. Favourite to win was Kyle Busch. After a whole year without a win now, he was hoping to win his third Brickyard 400 in a row. Not only would he make history, but it would also mark the end of his winless streak. He was starting on the pole today and was a strong contender for the win, however, it would be Kasey Kahne who’d be breaking his winless streak in this race.

Kahne absolutely deserves praise for winning a race after so long, but it still doesn’t absolutely guarantee him a ride for 2018. Especially as this was the first win in three years for the 37-year-old, and so it understandably raises questions about how to proceed with Kahne. This situation isn’t helped by the fact Hendrick Motorsport’s two biggest sponsors–Farmer’s Insurance and Great Clips–will end their contract at the end of the year.

With the race on Sunday, it all unfolded for Kahne with only ten laps left. There was another huge wreck involving Kurt Busch, Erik Jones, McMurray and Bowyer. Menard got loose and into Bowyer with Jones underneath him, and this all unfolded in front of Kurt and McMurray. Kasey Kahne had a lucky break when he pitted for fresh tyres just as the caution came out. He now looked to be a strong contender for getting his first win in 102 races as he led the restart.

It was a two to go shootout for the finish and Kahne and Keselowski were drag racing, just as the smoking car of Johnson took it three wide. Johnson’s car deteriorated, blew up and dropped out, bringing out a final caution and pushing the race into overtime. A wreck unfolded just as the cars running behind Kahne got caught in a cluster of carnage involving many cars after a pushing incident had gone wrong. Keselowski led the restart but Kahne grabbed the lead just as another wreck unfolded behind him.

Fortunately though, in what can be described as “third time lucky,” Kahne had reached the overtime line and he won the Brickyard 400 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was his first victory since August 2014 at Atlanta and his first ever Brickyard 400 win.

Once again, it was a great strategy call and perfect timing that increased Kahne’s chances of making it to pit road. Of course, it goes without saying that Kahne had a great car and was driving brilliantly. Indianapolis was feisty and chaotic, but Kahne was lucky to avoid any major incident and hold off the likes of Keselowski and Johnson across multiple restarts.

Climbing from his car on victory lane, Kahne was understandably exhausted, but his excitement still shone through:

“Today, strategy got us here. This Farmers Insurance Chevrolet was great once I got out front. I just had to get there. I’m exhausted. But, an unbelievable win. The team just kept working. We had great pit stops… I’m exhausted.”

It’s no secret that Kahne has had a question mark placed over his head about what will happen to him for the 2018 season. Perhaps this victory could open some doors for him and carve a new path for him to continue his pursuit for race wins. Or, perhaps it is just a drop in the proverbial ocean and doesn’t weigh up against the odds that are stacked up against him.