Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Kasey Kahne. Bad Boy Bad Boy Whatcha gonna do?

Kasey Kahne, the current Bad Boy of NASCAR?

When Kasey Kahne started the year in 2007, he was looking forward to the success that comes after a season of 6 wins. Sadly, Kasey was looking forward to the wrong future, as the success never happened. The entirety of Ray Evernham’s organization failed miserably, for reasons that are still somewhat elusive.

Kasey's frustrations revealed themselves by showing some fits of temper this year. He took part in some name calling of other drivers, up to and including his claims that one driver was overweight and out of shape. Then, at Homestead, while trying to enter his own motorcoach lot, he suddenly found himself in handcuffs.

The story is making the rounds of the media, the blogs and the message boards. Most opinions appear to have no middle ground…either Kasey is a Punk, or Kasey is a Saint. The details of the police report certainly do not paint a picture of Sainthood.

A few points…

  • Kole Kahne, being supportive of his brother, claimed that the guard grabbed Kasey first. Four, count them, FOUR Law Enforcement Officers' statements told the opposite, that Kasey shoved the guard.
  • Kasey may have been unaware that the security had been stepped up. However, there was one statement that members in the garage had been informed that hard cards were going to be required, after some fans managed to get by a guard earlier.
  • The fact that Kasey was wearing a driver's suit as proof he was allowed into the lot is amazing. Any given day, I can go to ebay and find a used driver's suit. Anyone could don a suit, and then appear to be a driver.
  • If Kasey had been shoved first by the security guard, he would have lost his job. The security guard had been ordered to not allow anyone to pass with credentials, even if they said they were a driver. The guard was following the orders given to him a half hour before. If the guard let Kahne by, he would have been fired. If he physically tried to stop Khane, he could have been fired. He was in a no-win situation.
  • There has been much joking about Kasey’s size vs that of a security guard. The security guard is 62 years old, indeed old enough to be Kasey’s grandfather. Just because a security guard has that title, does not mean that all of them are big bruisers. Many Law Enforcement Officers would fall in the same height and weight category of Kasey, particularly if they are female. Most would be insulted to think that they could not 'take down' a 62 year old man. Would Kasey have shoved someone younger and bigger? I doubt it. Kasey may be small, but he is an athlete who weekly drives under g-forces for 400 to 500 miles. He shoved someone who is old enough to collect Social security.
  • An Embarrassment of NASCAR Fans has struck again. According to the attorney speaking for the guard, they have been inundated with ‘hate mail.’ If the tone of those emails equals what I have read on some pro-Kasey message boards, then it is indeed embarrassing to claim NASCAR fandom at this time.
  • The TV station, Channel 10 WPLG, displayed an amazing lack of sense on the posting of the police report. The original posting included Kahne’s personal address, phone number, driver’s license and social security number. The posting was up for 12 to 24 hours, before those items were redacted. Shame on them! I know it is legal to publish the police report, but in this day and age, posting personal information that can lead to personal safety issues is irresponsible and lowers them to the level of tabloid writers, and not journalists.

I normally enjoy catching Ray Evernham on Tuesdays for his weekly call into Dave Moody’s Sirius Speedway show. I was especially eager to hear it due to the Kahne case. I knew Ray would defend Kasey. I was surprised however at the continual jokes by Ray and Moody, over Kahne being such a lightweight. He did not say Kasey had not done it, but there was a lot of hilarity at the expense of the security guard.

Ray also claimed that Kasey was being ‘preyed’ upon. Yep, for $15,000. Many statements also claimed that Kasey has shown no remorse. At this point, I am pretty positive no one would believe statements of remorse, except perhaps that Kahne is sorry to be going to court! And the more that Ray continues to joke around about this, the higher the punitive damages will climb.

I will agree that Kahne’s actions are not what we have lead to believe are normal for him. However, I find it amusing that Kahne is a saint for actually physically assaulting someone, and Carl Edwards was vilified for coming close to punching Matt Kenseth, but never actually following through.

Perhaps Kasey should get his checkbook ready. And perhaps Mr. Evernham should follow the advice of his media reps, and not be so bold on the radio, to make light of his driver’s actions….actions that led to handcuffs, court dates, and law suits.