From the Marbles - NASCAR

On Saturday night, Kasey Kahne had brake problems all race long, and finally wrecked his car. Also feeling ill, Kahne got out of the car and J.J. Yeley strapped in behind the wheel.

Normal enough; it happens. But reportedly, a crew member on the No. 9 team accused Kahne of cutting and running on his team. That didn't sit well with The HurriKahne.

"I was told that I needed to start doing my part, is what one guy told me last night after the race," Kahne told Jenna Fryer. "I told him he needed to start doing his part." 

(Aside: Who was it? Nobody's telling. But until I'm proven wrong, I'm just going to believe it was Richard Petty.)

Anyway, this was the second time in three weeks that Kahne has had brake problems, and the fact that RPM techs weren't able to diagnose the problem gives him pause. After all, he's headed into Martinsville, where brakes are paramount; any kind of brake problem and Kahne will find himself out among the hot dogs.  

So here's the question: Just how sick was Kahne? And if he'd been anywhere near contention, would he have bailed out? Remember that earlier this season, Denny Hamlin didn't just drive on a bad knee, he won on it

There's no indication that Kahne is soft or was faking illness. And you can certainly understand his frustration; AJ Allmendinger has seemed to get the benefit of the best parts and service from RPM all year long. (He's the equivalent of the hot chick who gets better service at the garage than you do.) Kahne is headed to Red Bull next year and Hendrick the year after that, and you can see why RPM might not be so keen on pushing the Kasey Kahne brand these days.

Still, it does no good for any side to simply punch the clock these last five races. Within weeks -- and perhaps even sooner -- Kahne will be gone. And nobody wants to end on a down note. Everybody just hang together for a few more weeks, OK? 

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