NASCAR Notes - Stewart, Kahne talk through Chicagoland incident

Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Kasey Kahne's cell phone chirped Tuesday morning, and the rookie driver was glad to hear Tony Stewart's voice on the line.

Kahne and Stewart talked for the first time since an on-track incident between the two touched off a pit-road melee involving their race teams on July 11 at Chicagoland Speedway.

"Tony is a good guy who has helped me out a lot over the years with getting to where I am now in racing," Kahne said. "We talked about some stuff and everything seems fine, I think."

Stewart ran into the back of Kahne's car on a restart during the Tropicana 400, wrecking the youngster. Minutes later, Kahne's pit team attacked Stewart's crew on pit road.

Stewart claims Kahne slowed down and pulled in front of him, causing the wreck. The incident was the main topic of the drivers' cell phone conversation. By the end of the talk, they were laughing about the situation.

"We're two race-car drivers and the grudges in this day and age aren't as bad as what they used to be in the past," Stewart said.

ISC BUYS NEW YORK CITY PROPERTY: International Speedway Corp. is close to acquiring 676 acres on Staten Island with designs on building an 80,000-seat raceway by 2009.

ISC is based in Daytona Beach, Fla., and is owned by the France family, which also owns NASCAR. ISC has agreed to buy the land in the New York City borough.

ISC and competitor Speedway Motorsports Inc. have been exploring sites for a track in the nation's top media market.

EARNHARDT JR.'S POCONO STATUS UNCERTAIN: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will have a stand-by driver available for this weekend's Pennsylvania 500.

Veteran John Andretti will be at the Pocono Raceway to take over for Earnhardt should he again need relief. Busch Series points leader Martin Truex Jr. relieved Earnhardt 61 laps into last Sunday's race at New Hampshire

Truex is not available this weekend because of a Busch race in Colorado.

PIT STOPS: Michael Waltrip continues to climb up the NASCAR Nextel Cup points standings. Waltrip has climbed from 31st three months ago at Talladega to 16th and is 238 points out of the top 10. He has seven more races, including Sunday's at Pocono, to move up into the top 10 or within 400 points of the leader to qualify for "The Chase for the Championship". ... The shakeup in management on the NASCAR Busch Series continued this week when communications manager Rick Houston resigned. He's been replace by Tracey Judd. Houston's resignation comes one week after Brian DeHart stepped down as the Busch Series director.

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