Kahne sick to his stomach and of his car

Hours after he was too ill to get back in his wounded race car,
Kasey Kahne ran a Sunday morning 5k for his charity in a shade over
22 minutes.

”That was the slowest I ever ran a 5K,” he said. ”I’m
definitely feeling the effects.”

Yes, Kahne was physically sick Saturday night, and said he
vomited once after his accident 124 laps into the race at Charlotte
Motor Speedway.

He was also sick of his race car, frustrated with running poorly
and disgusted that his brakes had failed for the third time this
season, and second time in three races. Had he not gotten sick,
Kahne said Sunday he might have gotten back in the car after his
Richard Petty Motorsports crew repaired some of the damage.

By that time, though, he was 100 laps down. He was queasy,
annoyed with the brakes and angry at criticism from an unnamed RPM
employee.

So he said no, he couldn’t continue, and the team grabbed J.J.
Yeley to finish the race.

”I was told that I needed to start doing my part, (that) is
what one guy told me last night after the race,” Kahne said at the
NASCAR Hall of Fame, at the finish line of the Kasey Kahne
Foundation 5-kilometer run.

”I’m not going to say names, but I was told that I need to
start doing my part. I can’t control the issues I’ve had this year.
I don’t know how many parts I’ve broke,” he said. ”If I really
thought about it, I could come up with all kinds of stuff.

”You can’t control that as a driver. I’m doing my part. I just
need the car. I work as hard as anybody out there.”

Kahne’s disappearing act was a mere sideshow to Jamie McMurray’s
victory and yet another improbable comeback for Jimmie Johnson. The
four-time defending NASCAR champion spun early, dropped to 37th in
the field, and rallied to finish second and widen his lead in the
Chase for the Sprint Cup championship standings.

Johnson was up early Sunday to join fellow NASCAR driver Joey
Logano in running Kahne’s charity ”5Kahne.” The inaugural run
drew 302 runners and raised $30,000 for his foundation.

It was a nice show of support from Johnson to his future
teammate. Kahne signed to join Hendrick Motorsports in 2012 this
spring, and will move to Red Bull Racing next year as a one-season
holding spot before he makes his eventual move to HMS.

Kahne confirmed Sunday that crew chief Kenny Francis will move
to Red Bull with him, and that Francis will have the option of
staying at Red Bull or moving to Hendrick in 2012.

At the rate things are going, it would be surprising if Kahne
doesn’t try to move to Red Bull sometime over the final five races
of this year.

He’s miserable at RPM, where a year after making the Chase, he’s
winless, ranked 21st in the standings and has just nine top-10
finishes. The final straw seemed to be Saturday night, when Kahne
said he had never been so mad in a race car.

”I lost it,” he said. ”I was just mad. I came into the race
thinking we had a shot to win, thinking we had a good car in
practice, we had a good shot. It went green. We were a little bit
tight, but still actually passed cars and really felt good and then
boom, my brakes are gone.

”It’s not like you have half-brakes, like you can pump them.
Your foot goes to the floor. It bottoms out. It’s a joke.”

Kahne thinks the problem is the brake fluid RPM is using, adding
that Francis wanted to change to a different brand but was
overruled because Kahne is the only one of eight teams using the
fluid having a problem.

”Basically we run stuff that’s not very good compared to some
of the other teams,” Kahne said. ”So once you lose your brakes,
you can’t get them back. With that fluid, you can’t get them back.
There are other fluids that you can, but with ours you can’t. Their
point is that we have eight teams and I’m the only one that’s had
this issue, and that’s a good point.

”But I’ve never had any issues in my past six years,” he said.
”If you look at brakes after a race, my brake pads are better than
any one of the other seven or the same as the best ones that don’t
use much brake. So it’s just a mess, really.”

The brakes went, Kahne said, about 30 laps into the race and
that’s what caused his wreck. After fixing the car, Yeley finished
the race and picked up two spots to finish 38th.

”I want to thank J.J.,” Kahne said. ”I appreciate him doing
that. I just didn’t feel good enough to get back in the car.”

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