Kahne takes blame for accident: Kasey Kahne took responsibility for an accident with David Stremme that led to a brief confrontation in the garage. On Lap 248 of Sunday's Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kahne came up into Stremme entering Turn 2. Stremme was forced to finish in the garage. Kahne would return for only a few laps before being forced to retire as well. Kahne admitted he made a mistake. "I had passed him [Stremme] off Turn 4," Kahne said. "He was out beside me. I was going down the straightaway, and my spotter said, 'Outside.' I was looking ahead. I was looking at the cars racing with me, and by the time I got into the corner I decided to go high. I thought that I had cleared him even though I thought he was there. It was just an error." Stremme approached Kahne in the garage seeking an explanation. Kahne said he told Stremme what happened and took responsibility for the incident but Stremme wanted more explanation. At that point, someone came between the two and Stremme left. Kahne fell one position in the standings to ninth, 210 points back of leader Matt Kenseth.
Harvick drops four spots: Kevin Harvick suffered the biggest fall in the points in the Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup. Harvick started second Sunday and shot to the lead and held the point until Lap 10 when Dale Earnhardt Jr. passed him. From there, Harvick backslid and finished 31st. He tumbled four positions to sixth, 121 points behind Kenseth. When the series left New Hampshire, the first race of the Chase, Harvick was atop the points standings. Since Loudon however, he has had only two top-10 finishes.
Burton points to suspicious caution: Jeff Burton, who was leading the Chase two races ago, scraped the wall while fighting with Carl Edwards for position Sunday. Burton was forced to make a green flag pit stop on Lap 280 for a flat right front tire caused by the incident. "It just didn't handle at all," Burton said of his No. 31 Chevy, "I drove it into the wall and cut a tire. We put on another set of tires, and it drove great." Burton fell a lap down and began to make up ground until Lap 292 when NASCAR threw a caution for a piece of debris that turned out to be padding from a roll bar normally found inside the racecar. In the past, drivers have been accused of throwing the padding out onto the track to force a caution. Although there was no evidence to prove that the padding was thrown out of a car, Burton felt differently. "NASCAR should stop every car on pit road and check for roll bar pads," Burton said. "Whoever threw theirs out the window should be fined 185 points and $100,000 because it had a huge impact on the race. It's ridiculous." The caution allowed cars to pit under yellow, an advantage Burton didn't have less than 15 laps earlier. Burton battled back to a 13th-place finish. He held on to his fifth place in points but lost 36 points to Kenseth now trails by 84.
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service