A miscue such as Kasey Kahne had in the pits could have been disastrous for some teams, but not for his Hendrick Motorsports team.
Kahne dealt with a loose right front wheel on Lap 53 in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, five circuits after pit stops during the first caution.
"I'm coming," Kahne radioed to his team, at the time not knowing whether it was an engine issue or a problem with tires causing him trouble.
Crew chief Kenny Francis later relayed the information that the problem for Kahne indeed had been a loose wheel. Although Kahne restarted 35th, one lap down, after pitting, by the restart on Lap 154 he had moved up to 21st. In 15 laps, Kahne was in the top 15 and kept digging.
He pitted for gas for the last time on Lap 211 with 14 of the other lead-lap cars and restarted 12th for the final 47-lap shootout. While some drivers were conserving fuel, Kahne had the green light and began picking off opponents. He was sixth with 30 laps...