Pinball wizards: Kahne, Vickers take turns paying each other back
There is little doubt the short track racing at Martinsville Speedway brings out short tempers and occasionally a bit of payback. That seemed to be the case for Brian Vickers during Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500.
After Vickers was turned earlier in the day following contact from Kasey Kahne, he appeared to pay back Kahne later in no uncertain terms. Then Kahne came back after that to return the favor once again during a wild day of on-track action.
The first incident occurred on Lap 159 as the leaders closed in on their back bumpers. It took place as Vickers was exiting Turn 4 and Kahne had a nose underneath, and kept on coming until Vickers was spun around.
The incident sent Vickers back in the running order, but his troubles were far from over. When the field stacked up ahead of him after a restart on Lap 214, Vickers hit another car in the rear and had to head to pit road when his hood flew up on his windshield.
Once back on track without a hood, Vickers was running behind Kahne on Lap 221 when he drove into the left rear of the No. 5 Chevrolet. The contact in Turn 1 sent Kahne hard into the outside wall and forced the Hendrick Motorsports team to take the car to the garage for further repairs.
Vickers told his team over the radio, "The car just went straight when I got down to (Turn) 1. Be sure and check that splitter, something has to be wrong."
Chase for the Sprint Cup contender Brad Keselowski also suffered minor damage when Vickers took out Kahne.
And still, the back-and-forth between Vickers and Kahne was far from over.
After making extensive repairs, Kahne returned to the track on Lap 254. Nearly mirroring the earlier incident, Kahne sent Vickers for a spin in Turn 1 on Lap 276 to bring out the 10th caution of the day.
Both drivers were able to continue, with Vickers five laps down in 34th and Kahne 32 laps behind the leaders in 38th spot.
Vickers would go on to finish the day in the 27th spot, four laps down to the race leaders.
Kahne’s day only got worse, as he drove into the back of Martin Truex Jr. when Brad Keselowski slowed with a transmission issue late in the race. The Hendrick Motorsports driver finished in the garage and in the 40th spot.
"He was using up the whole race track so I was going high, then he went high. Then I decided to go low, and he went low and spun himself out on my front end," Kahne said of his initial contact with Vickers on Lap 159. "I was confused as to why he would want to do that. Then later on he crashed me. I don’t know what his deal was he was using up the whole track. You get one lane you don’t get all of them."
VIDEO: Vickers and Kahne swap paint at Martinsville