NASCAR: Kahne slides to finish

In a bizarre twist of events in the final lap of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Coke Zero 400 from Daytona International Speedway Saturday night, Enumclaw’s Kasey Kahne finished 15th pushing Kyle Busch across the finish line on the hood of his No. 9 Dodge Budweiser.

“It was a decent day for our Budweiser Dodge tonight,” Kahne said. “We just struggled a bit with speed on the straightaway, but were fast in the corners which made it tough to race all night. It’s what we had.”

It wasn’t the first “big one” Kahne was involved in during the wild restrictor plate racing. Kahne and David Stremme triggered a 13-car pileup on Lap 77, but managed to continue racing.

“I’m not sure we survived the big wreck,” he said. “We finished the race, but it was an awful hard hit for a stock car that I took when I got caught up in that wreck (at the end). To get a 15th-place finish and gain in the driver point standings is pretty cool. It could have been a lot worse.”

Points leader Tony Stewart, who was battling Busch for the lead in the final lap, won the race after the two tangled heading for the checkered flag. Kahne took Busch’s airborne car with him across the finish line.

The finish pushed Kahne into 12th place in drivers’ standings, the final spot in the coveted race for the Sprint Cup title. Racing continues Saturday from Chicago with television coverage at 4:30 p.m. on TNT.

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