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Kahne says he was angry, not injured

Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw was frustrated he’d blown his championship chances with a “hardheaded mistake” at New Hampshire, and it boiled over into a brief televised interview that left viewers speculating about his health.

Kahne said Tuesday there was nothing physically wrong with him following his accident at New Hampshire. Rather, he realized immediately after his crash with 47 laps remaining Sunday that his title hopes were over, and he allowed his anger to derail the now widely discussed interview with ESPN reporter Jerry Punch.

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“I screwed up and I was frustrated. Two races in, I’m already out of the Chase. It’s a (crummy) deal,” Kahne told The Associated Press.

Fans watching Kahne’s post-crash interview on television immediately took to social media to say Kahne appeared dazed, confused and some speculated he had a concussion. Punch tried to ask Kahne what happened to cause the crash, and Kahne said, “I don’t know. I’m not sure what happened.”

Punch tried again, and Kahne didn’t offer any more insight. After a third question from Punch, Kahne told him he couldn’t hear him and the interview came to an awkward end.

“I couldn’t hear what he was saying,” Kahne said Tuesday. “I knew he asked what had happened. At that point, I didn’t know exactly what had happened. I knew we were three-wide getting into Turn 3. Did we have a little contact, and that’s why we spun? I wasn’t positive on that. But I was really just mad, and I didn’t think too much of (the interview) until I saw people thought something was wrong with me.”

Kahne’s health was just fine, he said, and he’d already been medically cleared by the care center.

Golf

Watson wants Woods to become Ryder Cup leader

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson wants Tiger Woods to take a leadership role next year when the American golfers seek to reverse their recent poor record against Europe.

The United States has won only one of Woods’s seven appearances in the biennial team competition since the world’s top-ranked player made his debut in 1997. Still, according to Watson, the 14-time major winner’s status in the game puts him in an influential position among his teammates.

“We need him to be a leader, there’s not a question about that,” Watson said Tuesday at a news conference with European captain Paul McGinley at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland, site of the 2014 Ryder Cup. “I don’t care who you are, if you don’t look up to Tiger Woods, what he’s accomplished in his career and say, ‘I want to play like Tiger Woods,’ you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Watson said it was “special” to have Woods on the team and compared it to his playing days when he’d be teamed with 18- time major champion Jack Nicklaus at the event.

Tennis

Venus bounces Azarenka

Venus Williams upset top-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the third round of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

In her first appearance in the Tokyo tournament since 2009, Williams took advantage of six-double faults by Azarenka at Ariake Colosseum.

Azarenka said she wasn’t well and hadn’t been able to practice for three days because of her condition.

“She didn’t seem like herself at all,” Williams said. “Hitting the double-faults, I could tell she wasn’t feeling her best. I am not sure what was bothering her but I hope she feels better.”

Cycling

Judged urged to let Armstrong case proceed

Justice Department lawyers urged a federal judge to allow the government’s fraud lawsuit against Lance Armstrong to continue, arguing the U.S. Postal Service was tainted by its sponsorship of his team while he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France.

The Postal Service, which insists it didn’t know about a team drug regimen that was exposed last year by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, is permanently linked to what the government lawyers called “the greatest fraud in the history of professional sports” in court records filed Monday night.

ELSEWHERE

• The NHL is holding Buffalo Sabres coach Ron Rolston partially responsible for a brawl that broke out during an exhibition game against Toronto. The league fined Rolston an undisclosed amount for “player selection and team conduct.”

• A 28-year-old British adventurer became the first woman to row solo from Japan to Alaska, arriving late Monday at a small town in the Aleutian Islands after 150 days and 3,750 miles at sea.

“I have had some of the most intense and memorable months of my life out on the Pacific, it has been brilliant and brutal at the same time,” Sarah Outen said in a statement. “And it has been a privilege.”

Times news services