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Bowling in the fast lane: Striking with NASCAR stars — all in the name of charity

July 9, 2014

(O-N-E photos by Zach Clayton)

It’s not every week you get the opportunity to enjoy time with celebrities, but when that chance presented itself last week, I just couldn’t pass it up.

On Wednesday, I was able to participate in a unique bowling event in Mooresville with two of NASCAR’s young and bright stars — Kasey Kahne and Joey Logano.

GoBowling.com and Pocono Raceway sponsored the event. which was held at George Pappas’ Victory Lanes. GoBowling.com sponsors the second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono, which takes place Aug. 3. Kahne is the defending champion of the event.

Wednesday’s bowling competition paired select media members with one of the two driver’s teams in an effort to raise money for charity.

Yours truly — a Chevy fan — was excitedly paired with Kahne in the first lane of the venue.

All of our bowling skills were quickly tested in an opening trick shot round, which involved a number of unique throws, including using a kid’s size ball, being blindfolded, and throwing with your opposite hand, as well as backwards.

Thank goodness the first round of scores did not count to our team total, and we were back to business as usual for our second round of throws.

Kahne said he’s taken a real interest in the sport of bowling, especially during his time away from the race car.

“I like bowling,” said the 34-year-old Kahne, who ranks 18th in Sprint Cup Series Point entering this weekend’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “I just really learned how to bowl during the winter time. I came here a lot over the winter. I threw the ball straight until the winter time and then I learned how to throw a curve. It’s helped a lot.”

Not as avid a bowler, the 24-year-old Logano faired well on Wednesday.

“Yea...,” Logano said jokingly with a pause after being asked about how he performed at the lanes Wednesday. “I bowled 125, which for me is pretty good. I think in general, it’s not very good. Not very good, but I had fun and that’s what it’s all about, right?”

I managed to hang in pretty tough with both drivers, tallying a score of 113.

Logano ranked 12 pins ahead of me, but Kahne took top honors of the three of us with a 167.

In the end, Team Logano edged Team Kahne with Logano’s charity earning bragging rights and $1,000 for a good cause.

Both drivers now turn their attention to this weekend’s race at Loudon as they both close in on the Chase for the Sprint Cup later this fall.

Logano, who is sixth in Sprint Cup Series points and has two wins this year — one each at Texas and Richmond — is confident about winning his first-ever Sprint Cup Series championship.

“I feel like going into this season, this is what we could do,” Logano said. “We can make some wins and possibly run for the championship this year. I didn’t see any reason why we couldn’t.”

Kahne still seeks his first win, which can secure himself a spot in this year’s Chase playoff.

“To me, it’s more about the team and the things we need to work on,” Kahne said. “I feel like we’ve done a much better job of putting a full race together. We’re still not there, but we’ve cleaned it up. We still have a ways to go. If we get there, I think we’ll be able to win.”

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