Bristol NASCAR: Matt Kenseth fends off Kasey Kahne for victory

Matt Kenseth held off Kasey Kahne in a barnstorming finish to take victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup night race at Bristol

Bristol NASCAR: Matt Kenseth fends off Kasey Kahne for victory

It was a fantastic comeback by the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, who had earlier been sent to the back for speeding in the pitlane.

Kahne had to fight his way by an inspired Juan Pablo Montoya to set up the thrilling showdown, but despite getting the nose of his Hendrick Chevrolet in front a couple of times, he could not make the pass stick.

Montoya had also been busted for pitlane speeding, but drove a great race to take third for Earnhardt Ganassi.

Brian Vickers was fourth for Michael Waltrip Racing, while Joey Logano boosted his Chase chances with a recovery drive to fifth following contact with Kyle Busch.

Busch's hopes of a hat-trick of Bristol wins following Truck and Nationwide triumphs were undone when he brushed the wall and slid into Logano. He did well to keep pace with the leaders, but his car was not good in traffic and he eventually finished 11th.

A host of potential winners were taken out in a huge restart crash that brought out the red flag.

Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick touched, probably after Hamlin cut a cut tyre following contact with Vickers, smashing into the wall and taking out Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr and Brad Keselowski. Truex suffered the most damage, but five strong cars were out of contention in an instant.

Carl Edwards had been the dominant driver for much of the race, but during a late-race caution period his Roush Fenway Ford started to splutter.

He switched ignitions, but to no avail and he was forced to bring the Fusion in to retire. Remarkably, it was the first Roush Fenway mechanical retirement of the season.

"I didn't have any warning," said Edwards. "That was the most fun I've had in a car for a long time. The car was perfect. The engine aside, we were the dominant car here."

Poleman Hamlin led the opening laps, but was baulked by series debutant Ryan Truex, which gave Kurt Busch the opportunity he was waiting for.

Busch was running comfortably out front when he felt the handling of the Furniture Row Chevy go off. He pitted to have a loose wheel inspected, and lost over 20 laps as lengthy repairs were required.

Jimmie Johnson's recent poor run of luck continued. The five-time champion's Hendrick Chevy sustained heavy damage when he was powerless to prevent running into the spinning David Reutimann.

Results - 500 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 2h57m07.000s 2. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet +0.188s 3. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet +4.589s 4. Brian Vickers Waltrip Toyota +6.471s 5. Joey Logano Penske Ford +7.989s 6. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet +8.637s 7. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet +8.979s 8. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford +9.208s 9. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford +9.496s 10. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet +9.530s 11. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota +12.342s 12. David Ragan Front Row Ford +12.709s 13. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet +14.468s 14. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota +17.816s 15. Aric Almirola Petty Ford +1 lap 16. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota +1 lap 17. David Stremme Swan Toyota +2 laps 18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford +2 laps 19. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet +2 laps 20. Mark Martin Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +2 laps 21. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +2 laps 22. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet +2 laps 23. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet +2 laps 24. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet +3 laps 25. David Gilliland Front Row Ford +4 laps 26. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +6 laps 27. Ken Schrader FAS Lane Ford +8 laps 28. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota +12 laps 29. David Reutimann BK Toyota +16 laps 30. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford +21 laps 31. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet +23 laps 32. Tony Raines Circle Sport Chevrolet +24 laps 33. Casey Mears Germain Ford +32 laps 34. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet +50 laps 35. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota +54 laps* 36. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet +59 laps 37. Josh Wise Front Row Ford +82 laps 38. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota +106 laps * Not running at chequered flag Retirements: Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 387 laps Scott Speed Leavine Ford 223 laps Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 175 laps Ryan Truex Phoenix Chevrolet 39 laps Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 1 lap 
shares
comments
Bristol NASCAR: Denny Hamlin secures pole

Previous article

Bristol NASCAR: Denny Hamlin secures pole

Next article

Kurt Busch set for 2014 Stewart-Haas NASCAR Sprint Cup seat

Kurt Busch set for 2014 Stewart-Haas NASCAR Sprint Cup seat
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR
Author Andrew van de Burgt
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020