Clinton, South Carolina, September 1, 2014, 11:15 a.m.
There’s got to be a morning after, and the first waking thought here was, why the hell can’t Kasey Kahne win the Sprint Cup championship?
All it takes is a win. Then, who knows?
This Chase is going to be wild. Coyotes are wild, but there isn’t as much howling. NASCAR officials are always behind. What they want is a video game. What they’re going to get is a pinball machine. It’s going to be a Chase Mack Sennett would appreciate, or a screwball comedy, a la Preston Sturges.
Google, folks, google.
Invariably, the victory produced a stream of tweets and one-liners about Kahne’s supposed legion of squealing, teeny-bopper fans. He’s thirty-four. The Biebs is outgrowing his fans. Kahne is, by comparison, ancient history, and if not, it’s kind of creepy. Nowadays, ladies want to just pinch his cheeks. No one charges him with a pair of scissors, demanding a lock of hair, anymore.
My God. It’s obvious he shaves.
Why is it that more people have forgotten Kahne’s rare skills than his apple cheeks? Probably because the aging joke about his lack of age is easier than pondering all the opportunities and predictions that have dissipated into pitiless ether.
‘I’ before ‘E,’ except after ‘C,’ and also in words such as ‘neighbor’ and ‘weigh.’
Nothing ever works for Kasey Kahne.
“I before E” has its exceptions, and sometimes races work for Kahne.
In NASCAR, there’s no “win or go home.” In NASCAR, it’s win or you still have to hang around. It’s like spending ten years on death row just to get in line for the hanging.
“So it was kind of like you just know that you have to win,” Kahne said.
“It was all that I could think about. I knew Atlanta was a better opportunity for myself (translation, ‘me’) to win at than Richmond. I feel better here than I do at Richmond, but we ran pretty good at Richmond earlier in the year, so that could be a good track for us.”
Kahne could have said, “Now Richmond means nothing to me,” but he didn’t because he seldom says anything snappy, and it’s not nice to fool Mother NASCAR.
“But I just knew that tonight was, you know, we needed it,” he added. “When I came off turn four, and I could see the checkered [flag], right there is the first time I knew I was in The Chase and it’s such a relief …”
Naturally, of course, Kahne’s beneficiary was Kevin Harvick, who has anchored more mysteries than Ellery Queen. Harvick has won twice this year. How many could he have won? Ten? Twelve? How many should he have won? Six? At least.
Until the final scenes – and surely there will be a “director’s cut” on DVD – Harvick was riding Seabiscuit against a posse of Adam Sandlers going to the whip on Gus the Kicking Mule. Then, as if by the whim of Merlin, Harvick couldn’t catch Kahne, or a cold, either, for that matter.
Kahne wouldn’t have won had it not been for a second overtime. The race went ten extra laps. The opportunity he needed was caused, in part, by Harvick, who crashed on a restart and wound up nineteenth in a race he paced for fifty-eight percent of the distance.
“Well,” said Harvick, “you just have to ride through it and do the best you can. You can’t control all the circumstances … It’s just unfortunate … that everything went the way it did, but what do you do?”
If Harvick bought a lottery ticket, he’d have to pay them a million bucks.
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