Kasey Kahne had his chance Saturday night to get revenge on Joe Gibbs Racing, but he refused to not race clean, trying every which way to pass Matt Kenseth without wrecking him.
Kahne was fed up with all of JGR after Kenseth made contact with his No. 5 Chevrolet earlier this month, ending his race at Watkins Glen. It was the fourth time a JGR driver had wrecked him.
“Headed to Joe Gibbs Racing to talk to whoever will come out front,” Khane wrote on Twitter.
Kahne trailed Kenseth for a dozen laps around Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee Saturday. The end result was Kenseth grabbing his fifth Sprint Cup Series win of the season, while Kahne, for a third time this season, settled for second behind Kenseth.
“I don’t know,” sighed Kahne, via The Associated Press. “I just … I think at the end of the day, I just don’t wreck people. I just didn’t get it done and I’m upset with myself for not figuring out how to win.”
With the first place finish, Kenseth clinched at least a wild card berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Kahne is hopeful to make it into the Chase. He is eighth in the standings with two races remaining to set the 12 driver field.
“Kasey’s as good as they get and he’s a clean driver,” Kenseth said. “He raced as hard as he could, we ran out of room off (turn) four, we were both digging as hard as we could to try to get it. Kasey’s just an unbelievable talent, he wanted it bad. We raced as hard as we could race and used every inch of race track.”
Juan Pablo Montoya was third, followed by Brian Vickers, Joey Logano, Paul Menard and Jeff Gordon. Marcos Anbrose was eighth, Greg Biffle was ninth, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was tenth.
Only points leader Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer and Kenseth have locked up berths for the Chase. The rest of the top 10 in points are Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Earnhardt, Kahne, Biffle and Logano. Two races remain, at Atlanta and Richmond, to set the Chase field.