Kahne Frustrated With NASCAR
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on May 18, 2014 | 12:22 A.M. EST
Kasey Kahne was in control until he said he hit oil and that sent him into the wall Saturday night. (Photo: Getty Images)
CONCORD, N.C. - Kasey Kahne watched $1 million slide away in Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star race when he said a patch of oil sent him into the wall.
Kahne won two of the first three 20-lap segments before pancaking the wall and ruining his chances for the win in the fourth segment. Instead, he finished 14th, while Jamie McMurray won the race.
“NASCAR just didn’t clean the track,’’ Kahne said in the garage after the race. “They cleaned it after that session. (Ryan) Newman hit it harder than I did. I hit it right behind him. We’re trying to race. These short runs, you’ve got to go, go, go and the track is not capable. I don’t mean to point too many fingers. That’s not our deal, that’s their deal.’’
Kahne said the oil came from the incident with Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr. and Greg Biffle earlier in the fourth segment.
“They put speedy dry down and they didn’t clean it off and you could also see the oil through the speedy dry,’’ said Kahne, who led 20 of the race’s 90 laps. “When we got up there, we’re all racing two or three-wide. That’s where I ended up and Newman and we shot into the wall like we hit ice. They cleaned it after the fact.’’
NASCAR issued a statement in response to Kahne's comments, stating: “The caution came out and the track had oil and debris on the surface in Turn 4 onto pit road. Oil was covered up by two clean up trucks and broomed in by the same. Vacuumed up and then blown by jets. Competitors drove past the area in question twice at reduced speed under caution. No drivers or crew chiefs passed along any reservations of the restorations. NASCAR Officials in the pace car confirmed the track was ready. The race was restarted.’’
His car damaged, Kahne hit the wall again at the end of the fourth segment and wasn’t a factor in the final segment.
While frustrated with how his race ended, Kahne feels good about how he ran.
“We just build on what we had here,’’ he said. “We had a great engine. We had a real fast car. We have another one sitting in the garage at (Hendrick Motorsports). I feel great about next week.’’
He finished third last weekend at Kansas Speedway and was strong Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a track he excels.
So, have the last two weeks been a case of running well at tracks he’s good at or is there something different with this team lately?
“Four weeks ago, we wouldn’t have run good at either of these tracks,’’ Kahne said. “We just didn’t have the speed. We did some testing prior to Richmond. We ran in the top seven throughout the entire race and ended up in the back because of other things on pit road.
“We just made gains as a team, some things that I needed to feel better in the car and it’s helped a lot. Everybody has stepped up a little bit at the same time. The car is definitely driving faster, better than what it was a month ago.’’