Posted: 2:16 a.m. Sunday, May 12, 2013
By Jordan Bianchi
Kasey Kahne doesn't know if Kyle Busch made contact with the rear of his car as the two diced for the lead with 33 laps remaining in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and caused his No. 5 car to pound the wall.
But at a minimum, what Kahne does know is that Busch overdrove Turn 1 and instead of celebrating a possible victory his night ended with a damaged car and him finishing 17th.
"I could see him and I was like ‘oh shoot, oh shoot' and then the car moved and just spun out," Kahne said. "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."
He believes Busch blew his entry into the corner as the two battled side-by-side and because he couldn't slow down he washed up the track and into the rear of the No. 5 car.
Kahne also does know is this isn't the first time that Busch has caused him to wreck. In fact, it was the second week in a row and the third time this season the two drivers have had encounter on the track, and in each case it wasn't Kahne who was the aggressor.
At Daytona in February and again last week at Talladega, Busch hit the rear of Kahne's car machine as the two were running in the draft sending him into the wall.
In both instances and again Saturday, Kahne said he had a car capable of winning. Busch even called him earlier in the week to apologize.
"I think he just made another mistake," Kahne said. "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."
Busch wouldn't comment on the incident when asked, frustrated with having finished sixth in a race he had dominated.
His crew chief, Dave Rogers, said Busch was upset with what had transpired and maintained his driver holds Kahne in high regard.
"He's pretty tore up that they were racing hard and Kahne tore up another car," Rogers said. "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.
"Kyle thinks the world of Kasey Kahne. ... He was really somber and disappointed that it happened."
What Kahne wants is for that respect to manifest itself on the track.
"He needs to quit," Kahne said, "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."