NASCAR Pocono Notebook: Kasey Kahne’s Chase Hopes Take Hit With Pit Road Crash

(NASCAR Wire Service)

Reid Spencer ~ NASCAR Wire Service

Kasey Kahne during practice for the Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Friday (Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kasey Kahne  (Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

LONG POND, Pa. – Less than six laps into Sunday’s Windows 10 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway, Kasey Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet spun off Turn 3, slid past the outside pit road wall and smashed into the retaining wall separating pit lane from the staging ahead behind it.

Crew members and spectators scattered as they saw Kahne’s car careening toward stall No. 40. The car smacked the wall with a heart-stopping thud, driving a piece of the Chevy’s front end completely through the wall.

Helmets sitting on the wall for later use during a scheduled pit stop were knocked flying toward the infield grandstand behind pit road.

NASCAR stopped the race for 14 minutes, 43 seconds to repair the damage to the barrier, which was close to the spot where Jeb Burton had crashed in practice

But the damage to Kahne’s chances of qualifying for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup may be much more severe.

With his car too crippled to continue, Kahne was credited with a 43rd-place finish, and he fell to 15th in the series standings. If Kyle Busch works his way into the top 30 in points over the next five races, a circumstance that appears more than likely, Kahne’s path to the Chase becomes much more difficult.

He’ll either have to win a race or improve his position in points to make the Chase field as a non-winner.

“Yeah, that’s really bad for points,” a shell-shocked Kahne said after the wreck. “It’s bad for just our team to lose a car that quickly into this race. And the last month has been really bad. And that was worse.

“So, I don’t know what the deal is right there and what happened. I just lost it. Late exit. Got loose. Spun.”


Joey Logano had the dominant car at Pocono, leading 97 of 160 laps, but the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford ran out of fuel and ran out of luck at the same time on Sunday afternoon.

Logano was leading when his fuel cell went dry on Lap 158, and he surrendered the top spot to Kyle Busch, who subsequently ran out of fuel himself.

To add insult to injury, Logano was assessed a pit road speeding penalty when he coasted in to get enough gas to finish the race. He was credited with a 20th-place finish, the last car on the lead lap and the victim of another close call.

Logano had run second to Kyle Busch in two of the previous three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, at Kentucky and Indianapolis.

“I thought I was going to be good, and then I started running out and knew we weren’t going to make it,” Logano said. “It was tough. We did everything right today. We had such a fast Shell Pennzoil Ford and got clean air and stayed up there, and the pit crew did awesome on pit road and kept me up where I needed to be.

“We keep getting so close to these wins, and they don’t happen, and it’s so frustrating. The truth is that, if we keep racing hard and racing to the front, we will win races. We were so close. You are counting down the laps in your head, thinking you are going to make it, but just didn’t do it. I am so proud still of what we did today, and it was a great weekend and we’re happy about the speed we have in our cars and the way we executed.

“We just have to figure out why we didn’t have enough gas.”


All things considered, Dale Earnhardt Jr. knew better than to grouse about his fourth-place finish in Sunday’s race.

On Lap 53, Earnhardt was flagged for speeding on entry to pit road and served a pass-through penalty two laps later. Mired in traffic because of the infraction, Earnhardt spun in Turn 1 following contact from Cole Whitt’s car moments after a restart on Lap 72.

Earnhardt’s average running position during the entire race was 18.72. It wasn’t until fuel strategy started taking its toll in the closing laps that he cracked the top five.

Despite the problems during the race, Earnhardt was happy his car had speed. And as to the finish, he couldn’t really be disappointed.

“No, not really,” he agreed. “I was going to be disappointed to run 19th. So, we’ll take it.”

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