Kahne leads final practice for Coca-Cola 600

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It looks like Kasey Kahne won’t give up his Coca-Cola 600 title without a fight. The Hendrick Motorsports driver, who will start sixth tomorrow night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, continued to show why he’ll be a contender in NASCAR’s longest race by leading “Happy Hour” final practice with a lap of 188.594 miles per hour.

Kahne, a three-time winner of the “600,” told reporters earlier this week that he appreciates the longer distance races as they give him and his crew more time to tweak the car and get into position to contend late.

“I feel like I’ve done a little better in over the years, 500‑mile races, 600 miles, and it gives you more time to work on your car, gives you more time to kind of fine‑tune and get it as perfect as you can for those last 50 to 100 miles,” said Kahne.

“I’ve always really liked the longer races…We have a good combination to get the car better and better throughout the race, and I think that’s what it’s all about – the communication in the 600 and having a car that’s capable of making a lot of little adjustments to make it right for the very end.”

Kurt Busch was second-quickest in the final practice session, with pole sitter Denny Hamlin in third, Darlington winner Matt Kenseth in fourth, and Greg Biffle in fifth.

Castroneves crashes out of Indy 500

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Helio Castroneves’ bid for a fourth Indianapolis 500 triumph came to an end following a restart on Lap 145, when his No. 3 Pennzoil Chevrolet broke loose exiting Turn 4, sending him spinning into the inside wall near the pit entrance.

Castroneves started eighth and had been running solidly inside the top 10 for much of the race, and he was sitting fifth following a Lap 145 restart. Further, the previous caution – for Sebastien Bourdais, who crashed in Turn 4 – set up Castroneves to possibly make it to the end of the race on more pit stop.

However, that effort came to a disappointing end not long after racing resumed.

Castroneves’ status for future Indy 500s is unknown, though he did make a plea to team owner Roger Penske to let him come back next year. “Please, Roger, I want to come back,” said Castroneves during his interview.

This is the first time Castroneves has crashed out of an Indy 500 since 2006.

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