By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
KAHNE SEES SILVER LINING
Sometimes the outcome of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race comes down to something as simple as choosing the right lane for a restart.
Second-guessing himself after losing the lead on a restart with 17 laps left in the Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at The Brickyard and finishing sixth, Kasey Kahne said his choice of the inside lane was probably a mistake.
Starting to Kahne’s outside, Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon took the lead through the first two corners and never looked back, leaving Kahne to ponder his lane selection.
“Looking back, I probably should have chosen the top, and that would have put us in a better place,” said Kahne, who was trying to conserve fuel during the final run, having made his final pit stop two laps before Gordon did. “But we ended up sixth. Because of that, I was able to save fuel and make it. If I had beat him (on the restart), I would have had to race the heck out of him.
“He was faster than I was. So, we probably would have finished a lot worse. So, I guess, for points, it was good. I would have loved to win at the Brickyard. We had a good car. I thought I gave it all I had. The team gave it all they had, and we just came up a little short.”
Kahne didn’t have to be reminded that a win almost certainly would have earned him a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
“Yeah, no kidding,” Kahne said. “I know that. We have five more good tracks for us and six more races, so hopefully we can get one.”