Kahne Getting Tired Of Apologies From Busch
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
In the days between last Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway and Saturday night’s event at Darlington Raceay, Kyle Busch has repeatedly stressed that he has nothing but respect and admiration for fellow driver Kasey Kahne.
He reportedly told Kahne that by way of a personal apology.
You’ve got to figure Busch will be making similar apologies this week because late in Saturday night’s Southern 500, Busch, once again, ended Kahne’s hopes for a victory by way of careless driving.
So says Kahne, at least.
“Three times this year me and Kyle have had contact,” the Hendrick Motorsports driver said after the race, which was won by Matt Kenseth. “And I’ve had capable of winning cars. It’s disappointing on the point’s side and not winning races.”
Busch did not say anything after the race. He got dressed and left South Carolina without comment.
The trouble occurred with just over 30 laps to go in the 367-lap race. Busch, who had dominated the race by leading 265 laps, was leading but being challenged by Kahne. On lap 333, Kahne briefly passed Busch for the lead. But on the next lap, Busch, while attempting to retake the lead, moved in on the left-rear quarterpanel of Kahne’s car.
Kahne’s car got sideways and popped the wall.
As he talked about Busch and their recent past, it was not with respect and admiration. It was more like with a warning.
“Well, he needs to quit… I mean he’s got to just race me,” Kahne said. “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.”
Dave Rogers, Busch’s crew chief, said after the race that there was a reason for Busch’s late race fade – Busch eventually yielded the lead to teammate Kenseth and then began giving up other spots and wound up sixth.
“We had a cut right rear tire,” Rogers said. “It’s unfortunate. The Doublemint Toyota Camry, Kyle Busch was fastest thing here from flag to flag. Just had a great car. The guys did a great job back at the shop preparing these JGR cars. Thought we were going to capitalize, but when we came in there was only 12 pounds in the right rear and you can see a hole in the tread. Thankfully, Kyle stayed on the wheel and didn’t wreck the car.”
Television replays appeared to show that no contact was made between Busch’s and Kahne’s cars.
Kahne didn’t seem to care who showed what when. He felt he had a potential victory taken away by a guy whom he has had problems in the past.
“It was very close,” Kahne said. “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.”
Kahne, known as one of the more laid back drivers in the series, was asked; Now what vis a vis Busch? Two things, he said.
First, “I will race him the way I’ve always raced him the way I have always raced everybody,” Kahne said. “I don’t know you try not to screw up and take people out when you are around them. That is how I’ve always raced.”
Second, he said, “I imagine he will call me again tomorrow and say he’s sorry.”
– Jim Pedley can be reached at email@example.com Comments