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NASCAR’s Kasey Kahne visits Buccaneers minicamp

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Published:   |   Updated: June 12, 2013 at 06:39 AM
TAMPA -

Kasey Kahne, who makes his living in the fast lane, visited the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday and came away impressed with the speed he witnessed during the opening session of the team’s mandatory minicamp.

Kahne, a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, attended practice along with Tampa native Joie Chitwood III, president of Daytona International Speedway.

After the Bucs worked out, Kahne caught a few passes from quarterback Josh Freeman and Chitwood presented Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano with a racing helmet that featured the Buccaneer logo on the side.

“I really appreciate it,’’ Schiano said, cradling the helmet while posing for photos between Kahne and Chitwood. “Two great traditions – Daytona Speedway and the Tampa Bay Bucs. I’m coming to see your race; it’ll be fun.’’

NASCAR returns to Daytona for the Coke Zero 400 on July 6.

Kahne grew up in Seattle and said he was an avid fan of the Seahawks, who reached the playoffs last season behind dynamic rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.

“I’m a major NFL fan,’’ said Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet. “I went to the Super Bowl between the Steelers and Cardinals a few years ago (2009) and I had a blast in Tampa all week long.

‘These guys do it every day, while we race only once or twice a week. It’s crazy how hard (NFL players) work and get beat up. I have a lot of respect for them. It’s amazing the athletes in the NFL. I’ve always been a big fan of what they do.’’

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