Kahne dominates but falls short in Vegas - NOTES by Lugnut - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

NASCAR NOTES: Kahne dominates but falls short in Vegas

Photo credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR Photo credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR
Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy" Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy"

Race car drivers are a competitive bunch, and most consider finishing second as being the first loser. In fact, many in the NASCAR garage see each week's contest as a struggle that ends with one winner and 42 losers.

Kasey Kahne had to consider himself in that role after dominating Sunday's Kobalt Tool 400, only to come up short in losing to Matt Kenseth after the final restart.

"Matt did everything right," said Kahne about the final 10 laps. "When I caught him, I was like, man, this is not the guy you want to have to race with 10 to go because he's going to do everything right."

Kahne had led the most laps during the day and had the car to race his way to the front almost at will.

"I thought it was a heck of a race," continued Kahne. "I got to race through cars, traffic and battle for the lead four, five, six times."

Despite a dominate car, Kahne was not able to overtake Kenseth, who captured his first victory for new team owner, Joe Gibbs, and his new manufacturer, Toyota.

"My goal was to win and win early," said Kenseth about his victory. "Nobody put any pressure on me except for myself, but I also know that coach Joe Gibbs hired me to come here and climb in the car and win races. You certainly want to do that and you don't want to disappoint people."

There had been a lot of conversations during the weekend about the passing ability of the new Gen6 car. After the event, most agreed that they were impressed with the first racing test on a mile and a half track.

"My car drove good," said Kahne when asked about the competitiveness of the new car. "I felt like I could pass, I could race underneath the car and do things that maybe I wouldn't have been able to do in the past."

"This car seemed to really respond to driving sideways," added third place finisher Brad Keselowski. "I think that puts a lot of emphasis on the quality of driver you are to control a slide, which is a really good thing. I think that heightens the ability of talented drivers to run up front."

The cream certainly rose to the top in Vegas, and even though Kahne came up short this time, his day will come. Also, judging from how the teams are beginning to get their hands around the new car, this should be a very exciting season.

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