Bristol "Big One" Costly For Kahne

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A seven-car accident in Saturday night's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway ended the night for several drivers as well as Kasey Kahne's Chase chances.

Casey Mears and Michael Waltrip made contact on lap 217 and set off a chain reaction wreck that swept up Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer, Robby Gordon, Sam Hornish Jr. and Reed Sorenson.

Mears was furious about the incident which he blamed on his spotter for telling him the outside lane was clear, when in fact Waltrip was right next to him on the race track.

"I like my spotter; he's a good guy, but man that was ridiculous," Mears said. "We took a bunch of cars out for no reason. I was just running along, heard 'clear, clear' and went up there and there was someone still there."

Mears, who was officially announced as a fourth RCR driver for 2009 earlier in the day, apologized to Waltrip and the others involved in the accident.

"I'm pretty upset about it," he said. "There were a lot of people that got involved in that, which shouldn't have been involved because it shouldn't have happened."

While Bowyer was able to return to the race and salvage a decent finish to keep his playoff hopes alive, Kahne's battered Budweiser Dodge was credited with a 40th-place finish. That dropped Kahne out of the Chase field with only two races left to qualify.

"It's disappointing because we're going to take a hit in the Chase points, but that's the risk you run here at Bristol," Kahne said. "I love racing here at Bristol - it's a great place with great fans. It was just a bad deal tonight."

Bowyer came back to finish seventh and didn't blame Mears for causing the crash, rather Waltrip.

"Michael Waltrip is the worst driver in NASCAR. Period," Bowyer told his team over his radio.

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2008

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