Richmond: Kenseth's comeback

Matt Kenseth, rallying from from two flat tyres and a lap down, stretched fuel for the final 135 laps and won Saturday night's Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway

Richmond: Kenseth's comeback

It was Kenseth's fourth win this season, his first since Michigan in June.

Kenseth last pitted with the leaders under caution on Lap 274 and came out running fourth. Ward Burton and Jeremy Mayfield, who had pitted 20 laps earlier, stayed out and took first and second. Ryan Newman, who had dominated to that point, was third.

Newman retook the lead from Burton on Lap 291, with Kenseth following. Kenseth immediately went to work on Newman and broke in front on Lap 293.

Kenseth easily built a 2.6 second lead, which increased to five seconds at the finish as challengers fell behind, either out of fuel or with various other trouble. Tony Stewart faded to 30th with transmission trouble, and Rusty Wallace had a flat tyre.

Newman finished second and Jeff Green third. Dale Earnhardt Jr and Todd Bodine came out of nowhere to finish fourth and fifth.

The major uproar concerned the points race. On the ninth lap, Jeff Burton lost control off Turn 4. Jimmy Spencer slowed behind him and was hit by team-mate Sterling Marlin, the points leader. Marlin finished 43rd.

Jeff Gordon, second in points, also endured difficulty, falling out with a broken timing belt on Lap 57. The team replaced the belt and attempted to send him back, but he could not make speed and finished 40th.

Mark Martin, third in the points, was more fortunate, finishing sixth. That allowed Martin to close to 9 points behind Marlin, who has led since February. That is the narrowest lead by Marlin since Martinsville in April, when Marlin led by 27.

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