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Kahne frustrated by Ford ‘teammates’ in New Hampshire

By admin | June 28, 2010

By Richard Allen

2010 has not been the year of the teammates in NASCAR. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson had a well publicized spat at one point in the season. Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya have had their differences and Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch may have cost one another $1 million in the All Star Race.

On Sunday in New Hampshire, Kasey Kahne got very little love from his pseudo Ford teammates, or at least that was the way he seemed to perceive it.

During the middle sections of the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Kahne appeared to be in command and possibly on his way to victory. Then, his Richard Petty Motorsports Ford came up behind Matt Kenseth to put the #17 Roush Fenway Ford one lap down.

After catching Kenseth with relative ease Kahne found himself having difficulty in getting around his fellow ‘Blue Oval’ competitor.

“Matt really picked it up, huh?” Kahne commented to his spotter with a tone that indicated either sarcasm, frustration or both.

A few laps later, Kenseth and Kahne caught up with the Fords of Carl Edwards, Paul Menard and David Ragan. The frustration only seemed to mount as the #9 car was unable to find its way around the four drivers. All the while, Kyle Busch was gaining on Kahne for the race lead.

Finally, as Kahne continued to struggle with the would be lapped cars, Busch’s #18 Toyota roared around him and then easily went by those who Kahne had been working so hard to put a lap down.

“If they’re gonna race me why don’t they race the 18!” the frustrated Kahne screamed into his radio.

As has been well documented, Kahne will be leaving RPM at the end of the 2010 season to drive Chevrolets for a yet to be announced team in 2011 and eventually for Hendrick Motorsports in 2012.

Whether his leaving played any role in the lack of cooperation he received from his fellow Ford campaigners is unknown and probably not likely. It should be pointed out that eventual winner Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus complained about being held up by Kenseth as well. No driver wants to get lapped by any other driver and they often race harder when the leader comes up behind than at any other time during the race. However, it did seem a bit strange that Kahne fought to lap these cars for so many laps and then Busch got around them so easily.

Eventually, it mattered very little as Kahne’s new Ford FR9 engine expired later in the event.

Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

8 Responses to “Kahne frustrated by Ford ‘teammates’ in New Hampshire”

  1. missouriracefan Says:
    June 28th, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Diva. Give that man a Snickers.

  2. Charles Says:
    June 29th, 2010 at 6:23 am

    I dont think Kahne should be complaining about his team mates much!

    Right now even though he is running for Richard Petty Motorsports, he really is running for Rick Hendrick as well! When he won a pole that helps for next year, if he wins a race or make the Chase from a business stanpoint that helps Hendrick better or as good as RPM!

    Be insterested to see how Kahne treats his soon to be Hendrick Teammates “this year,” see how hard he races or favors them at races that make a differnence in the Chase!

    He has the faster of the Fords at most tracks! If fact the other Ford teams need what Kahne has now! Roush does not need to over complicate the matter about what is wrong with is low performing cars, all he needs to do is find out what Kahne is doing, if all his cars were running like Kahnes, his problem would soon be over!

  3. Mary Says:
    June 29th, 2010 at 9:28 am

    I thought the other drivers were supposed to try and stay on the lead lap, not just LET someone pass them. Kasey’s dad must have LET him win a checkers or Candyland when he was a kid, so now other are supposed to LET him go by.

  4. DollarDawg Says:
    June 29th, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Maybe Kyle Busch got by with such little effort because he has more talent that Kahne (gasp!).

    More and more, Kasey Kahne sounds like a whiner. His gripes about Allmendinger on the last lap at Pocono were laughable at best. If the roles were reversed, he would have done the same thing-they all would!

    Same for New Hampshire. If he had been trying to stay on the lead lap he would have done whatever possible to keep the leader behind him. Again, they all would.

    Kahne seems to cry when he doesn’t get his way. He did it when he wanted out of his original Ford contract, he does it when his competition race him for position and he does it when his competition tries to stay on the lead lap.

    Who is wrong? Him or the rset of the world?

  5. J.J. Says:
    June 29th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Umm… Yeah, “they” let Kyle Busch blow past “them” like they were standing still because “they” like Kyle soooo much. Umm… That’s reality.

    Maybe Busch (and this has never happened before”) passed “them” because: 1. The guy is just that good, or 2. He’ll do whatever it takes to get to the front, or maybe it’s # 3. Busch called his spotter and told him to tell the blue oval guys to move over… and they did.


    Look out for black helicopters they’re watching you.


    Kahne isn’t exactly the spirit of “teammate” himself, does he really expect that people will roll over for him, especially “teammates?”

    Wait til he finds out just how non-teammate orientated Hendrick really is… What’s that line from Saving Privite Ryan? Capt Miller dying and drawing Private Ryan close… Something about, “Earn it”

    Kahne might try to remember that.

  6. J H Says:
    June 29th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Kasey had no complaint with Kenseth. Only with Manard who raced him hard but let Kyle go in the first corner. I wondered the same thing as I watched the race.

    My thought, for what it’s worth, is that Gillet/Roush/Ford does not want the driver that is leaving to be the first one to win this year in a Ford. That makes all the rest look bad….

  7. steven Says:
    June 29th, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    One of the reasons that Gibbs racing is doing so well is because of organizational teamwork. How good do you think Kyle Busch would look if he was in a Gillet/Roush Ford? With a better team I’m sure that Kasey will win his share of races and he will.

  8. J H Says:
    June 29th, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    To give Menard the benefit of the doubt, it may not have been so much that he “let” Kyle by as it was his attention was still on Kasey and Kyle took advantage of the opening. Happens often enough.

    Kasey and Kyle ran pretty equal for several laps after they both got by.