Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MOTORSPORTS NOTEBOOK; Kahne Feeling Left out; Busch Is Awarded Pole

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MOTORSPORTS NOTEBOOK; Kahne Feeling Left out; Busch Is Awarded Pole

Article excerpt

Byline: DON COBLE

It rained Friday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, providing a fitting backdrop to Kasey Kahne's mood.

Four days earlier, he was eliminated from NASCAR's Chase for the Championship, so the best he can do is finish a distant 13th in the Sprint Cup Series standings. Kahne knows in the next 10 races, including Sunday's Sylvania 300, drivers not in title contention will be afterthoughts as the sport focuses on its playoffs.

The rain, which washed out pole qualifying, only added to Kahne's somber state of mind.

"We don't have anything to think about other than trying to get to 13th in points and learning some things to be fast," Kahne said. "There's a little less pressure. Last week at Richmond, there was a lot more to talk about. Now we don't have any of that."

The rain means Sunday's lineup will be based on the point standings. That puts Kyle Busch on the pole, followed by Carl Edwards in second, Jimmie Johnson in third, Dale Earnhardt Jr. in fourth, Clint Bowyer in fifth and Denny Hamlin in sixth.

Kahne will start 13th.

With the season already lost, Kahne said Gillett Evernham Motorsports will use the final 10 races as a dress rehearsal for next year. The team will try new setups to gain an edge for 2009.

And for the first time in months, they can operate without the extreme pressure facing the 12 drivers that made the playoffs.

"I'm glad we don't have to think about it anymore," he said. "I feel we're a good sixth to 10th-place team. "

NO PUNISHMENT FOR HORNADAY

Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr. won't face any sanctions from NASCAR after admitting he took testosterone for nearly two years to battle gastritis, an erosion of the lining of the stomach.

"It is over and done with," NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter said. "We don't see where Ron did anything wrong. Our substance policy is based on reasonable suspicion. It was back in '04, '05. It is over."

Hornaday said he lost 40 pounds, and a physician prescribed Synthroid to treat gastritis.

"I know I was doing the right thing for my health," Hornaday said Friday. …

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