Engine takes Kahne out of Texas

Radical mysticism, idealistic visions, insight into the where it all went wrong: all these things are accentuated now, as Kasey Kahne must accept that a 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup title is not a possibility. Kahne's final gasp to close the point gap...

Radical mysticism, idealistic visions, insight into the where it all went wrong: all these things are accentuated now, as Kasey Kahne must accept that a 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup title is not a possibility.

Kahne's final gasp to close the point gap went up in a puff of smoke with six laps to go in the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The No. 9 Evernham Dodge was one of the best pieces all afternoon, and one of the only cars to be able to run upfront and compete with the dominate car of Tony Stewart. He was poised for a top-five run when the engine in the No. 9 Dodge let go.

"It just happened and it was a bad deal, but we were fast," Kahne said. "Kenny (Francis, team director) and the guys did a good job. There was only one battle for the lead all night and that was me and Tony (Stewart). We had a blast. I was flying, but he was a little better than I was. We had a good time. We had a good race. The good thing is we've got two races left. We can still have a shot at winning and we can look forward to next year."

While realistically Kahne's Chase bid was over weeks ago, Texas hammered the final nail in the coffin. He finished 33rd and falls to 10th in points; trailing the leader by an insurmountable 290 points.

"That's racing," Kahne continued. "We've got a couple to go this year and we'll try to make the best of them and come back and have some fun next year. It was my last chance to gain some points on some of the guys. Jimmie (Johnson) is running great again; Matt Kenseth is up there still. We probably could have run in the top five, but we're in the Chase and we're having fun."

If Kahne and team owner Ray Evernham allow themselves the ideological crusade of examining the highs and lows of the No. 9 Dodge's 2006 season, it might send their heads spinning. Despite having a series-high six wins he has had just two top-fives in the Chase; with five finishes of 16th or worse.

"We've had some tough weekends. Last weekend was really hard, and this weekend is tough, too. But we look forward to the last two races," Kahne commented.

When the No. 9 team meets at season end to flashback on the season there may be no true wisdom to find of why they could not maintain momentum into the Chase. Why, for every win, there was on equally disastrous event that prevented them from soaring up the point's grid. They probably won't discover much to help them figure it out, except that sometimes you got nothing but luck; and other times you got nothing but muck; and there are no ultimate answers, only good questions.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Ray Evernham