Kasey Kahne is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it any more.
For the second week in a row and the third time in just 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, Kahne had a potentially race-winning car, only to get wrecked by Kyle Busch.
A quick recap, for those of you keeping score at home:
On Lap 33 of the season-opening Daytona 500, Busch ran into the back of Kahne on Lap 33, triggering a nine-car accident.
Last Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, Busch ran into the back of Kahne on Lap 43, triggering a 16-car accident.
Finally, Saturday night at Darlington Raceway, Busch and Kahne were racing for the lead on Lap 334 of the 367-lap race, when Busch drifted up from the low lane and came within a whisker of hitting Kahne. The close proximity of Busch’s car took the air of Kahne’s car, and it went spinning around in Turn 2. Kahne finished 17th, while Busch lost air pressure in a tire and finished sixth after leading 265 laps.
Afterwards, Kahne was mighty steamed about it.
"Three times this year me and Kyle have had contact," Kahne said. "And I’ve had capable-of-winning cars. It’s disappointing on the points side and not winning races. But that was close racing. He entered so early and he was just going straight to the corner. So whether he hit me or just blew the air off, whatever it was, he blew his entry and I’m not real sure what he was thinking on that… 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."
Busch left the track without speaking to the media, but his crew chief, Dave Rogers, confirmed that the gaffe was Busch’s.
"He’s pretty tore up that they’re racing hard and Kahne tore up another car," Rogers said of Busch. "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."
Rogers said Busch was upset afterwards, which doubtless will be cold comfort to Kahne, his crew and his fans.
"He (Busch) was just really somber and disappointed that it happened, but unfortunately it’s part of the sport," said Rogers. "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."
The line of the night, though, belonged to Kahne’s spotter, Kevin Hamlin.
"Let’s stay calm here," Hamlin said after the contact. "But we owe that (expletive) three."