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Patient Kahne makes late-race gains
The No. 9 car was really loose early in the race, but as track tightened up Stewart's car, Kahne's car came back to him. If you scanned the radios, you would have heard every driver talking about their cars getting tighter. It was really good news for Kahne, but if you were already too tight, ruh roh. When you tighten up the car with wedge, sometimes it makes the car looser. If you get too much wedge in the car, the right rear tire doesn't have enough weight on it so it will actually make the car loose, particularly getting into a turn. Today, teams usually go to the track bar. They don't even mess with wedge. That's what the No. 9 crew did with the track bar in their car. The other track bar is used after the race over in the Speedway Club outside of Turn 1. At Atlanta, Mark Martin took a look underneath Kahne, and the No. 9 car hit the afterburner. Kahne had the same afterburner hooked up at Texas. A good pit stop with a track bar adjustment was the best thing the team could do. As the laps ran down my heart rate picked up, but Kahne was relaxed. His hands weren't gripping the wheel. They were just holding it because the No. 9 car was on a rail. A good omen is bring the same car to Texas that won Atlanta. There's a good chance you're going to have a good run, and there's a good chance the car will race again. If I were Ray Evernham, I would have been on the radio with Kahne during his celebratory burnout. "It's fine if you blow up my engine, but please don't tear up the racecar because I've got a plan for that baby."
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Busch vs. BiffleIn last fall's race, Greg Biffle had a terrible day at Texas. He spun out a couple of times and had a lugnut problem. It probably cost him a championship. His crew chief Doug Richert and girlfriend Nicole Lunders were very upset again on Sunday. Biffle got turned on the back straightaway by former Roush Racing teammate Kurt Busch who lifted him up. These noses fit right under the back bumper of the car in front, and the pictures told the story. If Biffle hadn't been turning while coming back across Busch's nose, it wouldn't have caused the problem. It's one of those things that drivers can't do on a superspeedway. Busch's only excuse could be Biffle was down and moved in front him. But Busch should have been on his toes and anticipated Biffle's move. We talk about "give and take" a lot during races. At Texas, Busch should have given instead of taking.