A rough year for Kasey Kahne was made even worse in the closing laps of last Sunday’s race at Pocono Raceway, thanks in large part to Kyle Busch.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver was run hard into the outside wall by Busch’s No. 18 Toyota as the pair raced out of Turn One. The incident ruined Kahne’s day, while Busch went on to finish 12th.
It was not the first time these two have tangled on track, and Kahne said Friday at Michigan he is done trying to talk through things with the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.
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"He sent me an email, then a text to ask if I got it," Kahne said. "I told him I did, and that is how it went. I talked through every situation and scenario last year with him when we had them, and to this day, I’ve still raced him the exact same way. For him to do that, I knew it was coming as soon as he floored it in the corner. I was like ‘He can’t. He can’t. He’s going to run me right in the wall’. I think he was having a bad day, and just loses it. But as far as us talking, we haven’t. He did write me an email, but I don’t really care anymore. I don’t care to talk to him or anything."
In 2013, Kahne was wrecked by Busch on at least three occasions: while running up front in the Daytona 500, the first race at Talladega, and while racing for the lead at Darlington.
He was later wrecked by Busch’s teammate Matt Kenseth at Watkins Glen, prompting Kahne to tweet he was headed to Joe Gibbs Racing to talk things over out front.
Kahne contends that last week at Pocono Busch knew Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet was to the outside and put the No. 5 in the position of hitting the wall.
"The guy on the inside wants to use the entire exit of the corner to carry his speed down the next straightaway," he explained. "My whole opinion, and my whole point on that was I had already passed Kyle (Busch). The reason he passed me back was because I was passing Ryan Newman and two cars, with no one in front of us — the next car was way up, going down the straightaway side-by-side — gave Kyle the opportunity to get a big draft, and stick his nose in there when we got to Turn One.
"So suddenly he is back and he knows if he didn’t clear me there, that we would be a position behind," he added. "So he just floored it, and if it is close someone is going to lift. So that is the way I look at it. You just put someone in that position, and it’s all up to the guy on the inside. His spotter was telling him outside, outside, outside."
While Busch has yet to comment on the situation, this should be something to keep an eye on throughout the long summer stretch of the season as both teams vie for spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.