It was like baseball, Kasey Kahne gave Kyle Busch two free passes. Then came the third strike and he’s out.
It started out at Daytona where the two drivers made contact and both were able to chalk it up as restrictor plate racing. Then there was two races ago, when Busch got into Kahne again to trigger a big wreck. Busch talked to Kahne, manned up and they were all good.
Then the series came to the Darlington Raceway this past Saturday. Kahne was leading when Busch made a big charge late in the race. Replay shows that Busch did not make contact with the back of Kahne’s car, but he was close enough to take the air off the back end of Kahne’s car causing him to hit the wall. Kahne continued, but the damage was enough on and off the track.
“He needs to quit… 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. He blew that entry into (turn) one. I got to the outside. I got by him into (turn) three. We had a great restart. Then he just blew his entry into (turn) one. Whether he touched me… I mean it was very close whatever it was. The angle he took into the corner, he had no steer and just went straight. Then I went spinning. It was definitely a tough way to end our race,” Kahne told reporters after the race.
He might have been politically correct in his responses, but Kahne’ frustration is starting to show with Kyle Busch.
“I think he (Kyle Busch) 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. Where he entered and hit his breaks he just crushed the splitter. We do it all race long and the way he did it he hit the brakes and he has no front-end. You just slide, he went straight on entry. His car is going straight it’s not even turning left. It’s just a mistake on his part. I imagine he will call me again tomorrow and say he’s sorry,” Kahne continued.
Busch was not available for comment after the race, so his crew chief Dave Rogers provided some insight to what he was thinking after the race.
“He’s pretty tore up that they’re racing hard and (Kasey) Kahne tore up another car. This is the third time we’ve been involved in an incident with Kasey and all of us over here have a ton or respect for that program. Kyle thinks the world of Kasey Kahne and I think Kenny Francis (No. 5 crew chief) is a great guy and Kyle still has a ton of friends over there in the 5 car — he used to drive that car — has a ton of good buddies. They all hang out. He certainly doesn’t want to create more work for those guys. He was just really somber and disappointed that it happened, but unfortunately it’s part of the sport. They were putting on a heck of race. Kasey made a great move to pass us and Kyle was just trying to pass him back and I don’t know. I can’t tell if we touched or not, but it was obviously really close racing,” said Rogers.
While Kahne does not have the history of deliberately taking other drivers out, it hard not to imagine he might make it difficult for Busch to get by him next weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, site of the Sprint All-Star Race, and going forward.