Kahne to a Backup After Practice Crash
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on February 22, 2012 | 4:15 P.M. EST
Kahne's damaged Chevrolet sits in the garage. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Kasey Kahne will go to a back up car in Thursday's Gatorade Duel after crashing in one of Wednesday's two practice sessions at Daytona International Speedway.
Kahne's Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet slide through the infield grass after slight contact from Juan Pablo Montoya and suffered significant front end damage.
“I don’t know if he hit me or not but right as he got there, this car started moving all over," Kahne said. "I know I got hit from behind, but I don’t know if it was necessarily him or how it worked. But when he hit me, I was just gone.”
Kahne chalked up the incident to drivers still dealing with the challenge of learning how the new rules package employed by NASCAR for Speedweeks in anticipation of Sunday's Daytona 500.
“It’s all about where you hit him and where you hit him on the race track," Kahne said of the bump drafting. "And if you do it in the right spots, you’re not going to have a wreck. If you do it in the wrong spots, you will. And it’s not intentional; it’s just part of the racing and what we have right now and the way the cars are, but there’s a way to do it and a way not to do it if you’re going to wreck or not.”
Despite his disappointment, Kahne did not blame Montoya for the accident that took out the fifth Hendrick entry of the weekend after all four of the team's cars were damaged in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout.
“It’s hard to point fingers at anyone, you know? It’s just that everybody is trying to get speed and go," said Kahne. But I didn’t spin out by myself. But it’s not like he was trying. He was trying to push you and get you going; he just hit me in the wrong spot at the wrong time.”
In Wednesday's first session Matt Kenseth led the way to continue the Ford dominance of Daytona so far. Kenseth's lap of 200.853 mph topped practice with fellow Ford drivers Trevor Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Marcos Ambrose second through fourth.
Mark Martin's Toyota rounded out the fast five.
Wednesday's second session saw a limited number of teams participate with Aric Almirola putting his Richard Petty Motorsports Ford on top the speed charts with a lap of 199.712 mph.
David Stremme, Regan Smith, Robert Richardson and Greg Biffle completed the first five.