Kasey Kahne took his sixth victory of the season as he did his best to get back into the title fight at the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday night.
Kahne ran up front all night and retook the lead from Jimmie Johnson just after the final restart to take the victory at Lowe's, sweeping both races at the track this season.
Despite losing the lead after the restart, Johnson's second place was a good result after having some struggles earlier in the race, while Jeff Burton was relieved with third after stalling exiting the pits with just under 100 laps remaining as he retained the points lead.
Dale Earnhardt Jr and Bobby Labonte rounded out the top five.
While Kyle Busch finished sixth, the rest of the Chase for the Championship runners had less than happy nights. Kenseth had problems with his suspension and finished 14th, Harvick finished 18th and Jeff Gordon blew up within sight of the finish while running in the top five to end the night in 24th.
The other two Chasers suffered because of crashes, Denny Hamlin caught up in a lap 1 wreck before repairing his car to finish 28th, while Mark Martin slammed the front stretch wall when JJ Yeley made a last-minute decision to pit which caused Yeley and Martin to collide.
Burton's third place finish and problems for the two Roush cars meant that he extended his lead over Kenseth to 45 points. Harvick, Martin and Earnhardt Jr are around 100 points behind Burton, with Hamlin, Johnson and Lowe's winner Kahne within 160 points.
However, despite a good finish for Kyle Busch and a strong run before his engine failure for Jeff Gordon, his third consecutive DNF, they are both more than a win behind Burton with five races remaining, their title hopes almost gone.
Pos Driver Make Laps 1. Kasey Kahne Dodge 334 Chase 2. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 334 Chase 3. Jeff Burton Chevrolet 334 Chase 4. Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 334 Chase 5. Bobby Labonte Dodge 334 6. Kyle Busch Chevrolet 334 Chase 7. Tony Raines Chevrolet 334 8. Carl Edwards Ford 334 9. Joe Nemechek Chevrolet 334 10. Brian Vickers Chevrolet 334 11. Sterling Marlin Chevrolet 334 12. Casey Mears Dodge 333 13. Tony Stewart Chevrolet 333 14. Matt Kenseth Ford 332 Chase 15. David Stremme Dodge 332 16. Jeff Green Chevrolet 332 17. Scott Riggs Dodge 332 18. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 332 Chase 19. Todd Bodine Chevrolet 331 20. Travis Kvapil Chevrolet 331 21. Terry Labonte Chevrolet 331 22. Kyle Petty Dodge 330 23. Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 329 24. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 301 Chase 25. Robby Gordon Chevrolet 300 26. Dave Blaney Dodge 278 27. Ryan Newman Dodge 272 28. Denny Hamlin Chevrolet 265 Chase 29. J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 258 30. Mark Martin Ford 239 Chase 31. Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet 216 32. Kurt Busch Dodge 208 33. David Gilliland Ford 161 34. Jamie McMurray Ford 160 35. Elliott Sadler Dodge 124 36. Reed Sorenson Dodge 115 37. Greg Biffle Ford 111 38. Michael Waltrip Dodge 102 39. Todd Kluever Ford 45 40. Ken Schrader Ford 45 41. Dale Jarrett Ford 32 42. Mike Bliss Dodge 1 43. Mike Skinner Chevrolet 1 CHASE FOR THE CUP - POINTS STANDING: Pos Driver Change Points 1. Jeff Burton 5763 2. Matt Kenseth 5718 - 45 3. Kevin Harvick +1 5674 - 89 4. Mark Martin -1 5661 -102 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr +1 5657 -106 6. Denny Hamlin -1 5626 -137 7. Jimmie Johnson +1 5617 -146 8. Kasey Kahne +1 5603 -160 9. Kyle Busch +1 5568 -195 10. Jeff Gordon -3 5547 -216
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