After spending much of Sunday's NASCAR race at Dover one lap down, Kasey Kahne had returned to the lead lap in hopes of securing a top-five finish and staying in Chase contention with a good result.
Instead, a problem with his car and an ensuing mistake by his pit crew cost him dearly, and he finished a disappointing 15th.
Late in the race, Kahne had to pit with what he thought was a loose wheel. But it turned out not to be the case.
"We don't know why I had to pit the first time, but the car just started shaking really bad," Kahne said afterward. "I got nervous because it was getting worse and worse. Right before it did that we were fast, we finally got our laps back that we lost early and we were coming on. I could see I was eating (Brad) Keselowski up pretty good and had plenty of fuel."
While Kahne said he was "definitely upset" about the turn of events, he also accepted that "things happen" sometimes that are out of the team's control. Plus, it still put the No. 5 team in decent position on fuel.
But a crew member left a lug nut off the right-front tire, a miscue which required yet another trip back down pit road. It was a mistake that "shouldn't happen," Kahne said, and it was a costly error.
"We were sitting really good because we had just pitted and topped off (on fuel)," he said. "It's too bad, whatever it was. I don't know. We will figure it out and hopefully we don't have it happen again."
For Kahne, Sunday's result was crippling.
He entered the weekend in the thick of title contention – he was just 15 points out of the lead thanks to finishes of third and fifth in the opening two Chase races – and assuming he would have finished no worse than fourth, Kahne lost a minimum of 11 points and now finds himself 32 points behind Keselowski.