Las Vegas NASCAR: Matt Kenseth takes first win with Joe Gibbs

Matt Kenseth celebrated his 41st birthday in style by holding off Kasey Kahne to win round three of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas NASCAR: Matt Kenseth takes first win with Joe Gibbs

Kenseth's new Joe Gibbs team made the winning move by not changing tyres during the final round of pitstops.

Despite Kahne having dominated the race up until that point for Hendrick Motorsports, he was unable to find a way by Kenseth's Toyota.

Kahne was unlucky. His crew was forced to delay releasing him from his pit due to the arriving Tony Stewart, and those additional seconds ultimately cost him the win.

With qualifying rained off, defending champion Brad Keselowski started from pole. But although the Penske Ford man led the opening lap, he was soon passed by the charging Kahne.

Like most drivers Keselowski fought a loose car in the opening stages, but a series of changes brought it to his liking and he fought wheel-to-wheel with Kyle Busch for third in the closing laps.

Fourth represented a great fightback for Vegas homeboy Busch, who dropped a lap for speeding during a green-flag pitstop. He pulled off some stunning moves - including a great third-to-first dive following a mid-race restart - but the long-run pace of his Gibbs Toyota was not enough to keep him at the front.

His team-mate Denny Hamlin was also hit with a speeding penalty and in true Vegas fashion his team gambled in the closing stages to get him back on the lead lap. But it was not enough to get him in the lead mix and he finished 15th.

Jimmie Johnson was a force in the early stages in his Hendrick Chevrolet, leading a lot of laps. But he could not keep pace with the leaders and slipped to sixth on the penultimate lap as Carl Edwards passed him in his Roush Ford.

Results - 267 laps:

Pos  Driver              Team/Car                         Time/Gap
 1.  Matt Kenseth        Joe Gibbs Toyota             2h44m16.000s
 2.  Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet               + 0.594s
 3.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford                      + 2.887s
 4.  Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota                 + 5.828s
 5.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford                + 8.435s
 6.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet               + 9.091s
 7.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet              + 10.901s
 8.  Martin Truex Jr     Waltrip Toyota                  + 10.921s
 9.  Kevin Harvick       Childress Chevrolet             + 11.125s
10.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet             + 12.400s
11.  Tony Stewart        Stewart-Haas Chevrolet          + 13.139s
12.  Joey Logano         Penske Ford                     + 13.468s
13.  Jamie McMurray      Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet     + 14.588s
14.  Mark Martin         Waltrip Toyota                  + 16.476s
15.  Denny Hamlin        Joe Gibbs Toyota                + 16.747s
16.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                      + 18.386s
17.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford               + 20.229s
18.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford               + 22.468s
19.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet     + 28.116s
20.  Kurt Busch          Furniture Row Chevrolet           + 1 lap
21.  Austin Dillon       Phoenix Chevrolet                 + 1 lap
22.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                        + 1 lap
23.  Trevor Bayne        Wood Brothers Ford                + 1 lap
24.  Dave Blaney         Baldwin Chevrolet                 + 1 lap
25.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet                + 1 lap
26.  Jeff Burton         Childress Chevrolet               + 1 lap
27.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota                   + 2 laps
28.  David Gilliland     Front Row Ford                   + 2 laps
29.  Casey Mears         Germain Ford                     + 2 laps
30.  Bobby Labonte       JTG Daugherty Toyota             + 4 laps
31.  David Ragan         Front Row Ford                   + 4 laps
32.  David Stremme       Swan Toyota                      + 6 laps
33.  Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet           + 6 laps
34.  David Reutimann     BK Toyota                        + 6 laps
35.  Josh Wise           Front Row Ford                   + 7 laps
36.  JJ Yeley            Baldwin Chevrolet                + 8 laps
37.  Ken Schrader        FAS Lane Ford                    + 9 laps

Retirements:

     Ryan Newman         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet           234 laps
     Travis Kvapil       BK Toyota                        217 laps
     Joe Nemechek        NEMCO Toyota                     216 laps
     Scott Speed         Leavine Ford                     143 laps
     Landon Cassill      Circle Sport Chevrolet            66 laps
     Michael McDowell    Parsons Ford                      21 laps
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