Kasey Kahne’s worst two finishes of 2013 (36th & 42nd) are courtesy of Kyle Busch who got into the back of Kahne the wrong way knocking him out of both the Daytona 500 and Talladega last week. Kasey is a relatively nice guy and has a good relationship with Busch off the track so he simply shrugged the incidents off as accidents which they obviously were.
NASCAR visited Darlington Raceway this past weekend and those two found themselves battling hard for the lead late in the race. They swapped the top spot multiple times but when Kyle Busch attempted to dive back underneath Kasey, he got into the corner too fast and slid up the track. Kyle slammed on the brakes but it wasn’t enough to spare Kahne who went sideways and slamming the wall ruining his night. There was no conclusive evidence whether or not Busch actually hit the #5 but even if he didn’t, the close encounter was enough to take the air of the left rear of Kahne’s car sending him sliding.
Kasey nursed the car home 17th after hitting the wall again while Kyle Busch lost the race in the closing laps to teammate Matt Kenseth due to a flat tire. Kyle finished 6th and left the track without an interview understandably upset with the outcome. Kahne on the other hand did give an interview to FOX Sports. Although he wasn’t irate like most drivers would be, Kahne was visually aggravated with Kyle Busch’s risky move that cost him a chance at the Southern 500 victory. He blames Busch for the crash stating that the #18 blew the corner and he wasn’t sure what Busch was thinking.
“I could see him and I was like ‘oh shoot, oh shoot’ and then the car moved and just spun out. I don’t know if he actually touched me or what, but his angle into the corner. If he would have just entered like normal, the way he has entered the whole race it would have been no issues and I would have been leading off (Turn) 2 and he just didn’t want that to happen so he blew turn one. So whether he hit me or not he still caused that whole deal with screwing up.”
“I think he just made another mistake. That is his third one when he has been around me this year. I don’t really understand it. We were battling for the lead or for the top two or three spots each time. I imagine he will call me again tomorrow and say he’s sorry. I mean he’s got to just race me. I mean I’ve never touched the guy in my life as far as on the race track. Three times this year, there have been other times in other years. I don’t really know what his deal is with me.”
Kyle’s crew chief Dave Rodgers discussed the incident briefly saying “He’s pretty tore up that they were racing hard and Kahne tore up another car.” This is the third time that we’ve been involved in an incident with Kasey. All of us over here have a ton of respect for that program.”
Kahne did keep his composure in the interview but you could tell that there was a lot of anger that he was holding back. I don’t see this incident turning into a feud between the drivers as Kahne isn’t one to hold a grudge like that but I’m sure he will race Kyle much harder than some other competitors next time they are battling on the track.