KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – If Kasey Kahne tries something like the move that won him Saturday’s Busch race in Sunday’s Nextel Cup event, Greg Biffle vowed to make him pay for it.

Biffle elected not to nudge Kahne out of contention during their late side-by-side duel Saturday, and Kahne edged ahead just yards from the finish line for the victory at Kansas Speedway.

The margin of victory – .03 seconds – was the fifth-closest since the series implemented electronic timing in 1993.

“If this is the Cup race, that’s the last lap and that’s what going on, it’s going to be a different outcome, I can tell you that,” said Biffle, who led 136 of 200 laps and clearly had the fastest car in the United Way 300.

Kahne, who didn’t find out until Thursday that he would drive Saturday’s race for Evernham Motorsports, was unfazed.

“I doubt he’ll sacrifice his Cup car tomorrow,” Kahne said. “He’s got a lot riding on that, racing for points, and I doubt he wants to do that. If he wants to nudge, we can nudge, too.”

Points leader Martin Truex Jr., who started from the pole and led 36 laps, lost ground because of a decision to pit earlier than the rest of the field. He still finished ninth – his first top-10 finish since Aug. 26 – and widened his lead over Clint Bowyer from 26 to 49 points.

Bowyer was running fourth, four spots ahead of Truex, with nine laps to go on the 1-mile tri-oval. But he developed a loose wheel, had to pit, and finished 15th.

“We screwed up today, but we got lucky,” said Truex, the defending series champion. “We had a good car, but we can’t get anything to go our way.”

Pit strategy paid off for Kahne, who earned his third career Busch victory and second of the season. He stayed out with 16 laps to go, electing to run on worn tires, while Biffle pitted and dropped to eighth.

Biffle charged back to second by the 194th lap, when Jason Leffler’s car got loose and got into Mike Wallace, putting Wallace into the wall and bringing out the last of the day’s 10 cautions. The green flag game out with three laps left, and Biffle took a slight lead into the final lap.

Kahne kept his Dodge on the outside, though, taking away the air on the right side of Biffle’s Ford and squeezing Biffle toward the inside.

“You wouldn’t see him doing that in the middle of the race,” Biffle said. “Eventually, the guy on the bottom is going to prevail. If we would have had three more laps, he wouldn’t have been able to hang there.”

It paid off for Kahne on Saturday, though.

“I just played that out, and it seemed to work,” he said. “I’ve lost plenty of races when we’ve had one of the fastest cars, too.”

Johnny Sauter was third, followed in the top 10 by Kevin Harvick, Jon Wood, Reed Sorenson, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Truex and J.J. Yeley. Joe Nemechek, who swept the Busch and Nextel Cup races here last year, was 11th.

AP-ES-10-08-05 1849EDT


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