Kasey Kahne fans were optimistic that he’d start turning around his season in Sunday’s Pocono Raceway, where he won at last August and has two overall wins and seven top 10s there.
For a while there, Kahne was looking good until Lap 143 of the 160-lap Pocono 400.
Kahne lost control of his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and slammed into the Turn 1 wall, collecting Roush Fenway Racing teammates Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle in the process.
Kahne ultimately wound up with a 42nd-place finish, while Edwards was one spot ahead in 41st.
Kahne apparently lost the brakes in his car after the first impact as he continued on down the track for maybe an additional 500-plus feet before hitting the wall again.
That brought out the caution flag and Kahne’s car had to be towed off the track.
After the race, Kahne declined to be interviewed, telling TNT that he wasn’t feeling well.
Edwards, meanwhile, called Kahne’s hit one of the hardest sideswipes into a wall he’s ever seen.
“I’m not sure what happened,” Edwards told TNT. “It was getting pretty crazy out there. It looked like he came off Turn (1) and somehow Kasey hit the wall there, but it wasn’t like he just ran into the wall, there was a bunch of oil on the track.
“I couldn’t miss him, I hit him in the left rear, I’m glad he got out of the car okay because he really smacked the wall hard.”
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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.
And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.
After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.
In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.
Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.
“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.
“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.
“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”
Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.
“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”
Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.