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Kahne wrecks, goes to backup at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.
Kasey Kahne's first points race for Hendrick Motorsports is off to a rough start.
The driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet wrecked his ride in practice for the Daytona 500 on Wednesday. He was running with Juan Pablo Montoya when his No. 5 got tapped from behind by Montoya, sending Kahne for a wild ride through the frontstretch grass.
“It’s hard to point fingers at anyone, you know?" Kahne said. "It’s just that everybody is trying to get speed and go. But I didn’t spin out by myself. But it’s not like he was trying. He was trying to push you and get you going; he just hit me in the wrong spot at the wrong time.”
From Montoya's point of view, he "barely tapped" his fellow Chevrolet driver.
Kahne's car received significant damage to the left front, so he will switch to a backup for Thursday's Gatorade Duel qualifying race. He will start the race from the rear, but he will keep whatever qualifying position he earns for the Daytona 500 on Sunday.
“We were slow the first session, so we were trying some stuff and it was actually a good bit better," Kahne said. "I was pretty happy with it. And then that happened.
"Our backup car is just as good, but the problem is we still have the (qualifying races) and a couple more practices. We haven’t gotten off to a real good start yet. We might need to bring more cars down at this rate.”
The wreck was the only incident in the 90-minute session, the second practice of the day Wednesday. Aric Almirola, with a best lap of 199.712 mph, was fastest of the 25 drivers who ran in the second practice. Kahne was 10th overall.