NASCAR plans to follow up with Kasey Kahne and Danica Patrick before the Sprint Cup Series resumes in two weeks at Martinsville Speedway to make sure there are no issues between the drivers after their incident Sunday at Auto Club Speedway.
The move comes after NASCAR was questioned last year about not intervening between Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano following their contact at Kansas Speedway in the Chase.
Three weeks after that incident, Kenseth, running several laps down, wrecked Logano from the lead at Martinsville Speedway late in the opening race of the third round. That played a role in Logano failing to advance to the championship round. NASCAR suspended Kenseth two races for the incident.
Sunday, NASCAR met with Kahne after the race.
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, explained Monday on “The Morning Drive’’ why Kahne was called to the hauler and what will happen next.
“I think what we learned really from last year … is where there is an incident where we look at something that could potentially have been avoidable, we’re going to bring folks in,’’ O’Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
“There was obviously some emotion after the incident, some displeasure from Danica. We wanted to bring in Kasey (to the hauler) and find out what his perspective was. From our perspective, it was getting his viewpoint of the accident. It was a good discussion. We’ll certainly follow up with both of them to make sure everything is OK heading into Martinsville. Just part of the weekly dialogue we want to have with the competitors and an incident we want to raise a few questions and make sure we’re on the same page with the competitors.’’
Kahne took the blame for the incident after the race and on Twitter.
Patrick showed her displeasure by walking toward the track to raise her arms as Kahne drove by. O’Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that it would review Patrick’s actions. The Sprint Cup Rule Book bars drivers from approaching the track during an event.
“Rules are in place to keep the drivers safe, and we want to just review everything that took place there and see if there is anything we need to react to this week,’’ O’Donnell said.