Kenseth holds off Kahne to get 5th win of seasonThe Associated Press | August 25,2013AP Photo
Matt Kenseth leads Kasey Kahne during Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn.BRISTOL, Tenn. — Kasey Kahne was fed up with all of Joe Gibbs Racing by the time contact with Matt Kenseth ended his race at Watkins Glen earlier this month.
It was the fourth time a JGR driver had wrecked him, and he took to Twitter to voice his displeasure, posting: “Headed to Joe Gibbs Racing to talk to whoever will come out front.”
But when he had his chance Saturday night to right all of those wrongs, Kahne passed.
A clean racer to his core, he trailed Kenseth for a dozen laps around Bristol Motor Speedway, trying every which way possible to pass him without wrecking him and failing miserably. The result was Kenseth grabbing his Sprint Cup Series leading fifth win of the season, while Kahne settled for a disappointing second.
“I don’t know,” sighed Kahne. “I just ... I think at the end of the day, I just don’t wreck people.”
It’s the third time this season Kahne has finished second behind Kenseth, who on Saturday night clinched at least a wild card berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Kahne, meanwhile, is still hoping just to make it into the Chase. With two wins on the year he’s in pretty good shape, but he’s only eighth in the standings with two races remaining to set the 12 driver field.
After Kahne passed Juan Pablo Montoya for second he set his sights on Kenseth and tried numerous times over the final dozen laps to make the pass, but never could make it stick. He went for the bump and run on the last lap and missed, and has to settle for second.
“I had a better car. I just couldn’t clear him,” Kahne said. “There was a couple shots I took, and I had to have been close, but I could feel him on the right side of my car, and I just didn’t clear him. I didn’t figure out how to get by. It’s disappointing not to win here. I thought we had the best car the last 200 laps, and it was a lot of work.”
Montoya, who learned two weeks ago he won’t be brought back to Chip Ganassi Racing next season, was third. Although he could use a win, especially on an oval to prove he belongs in NASCAR, he said he was pleased with the result — especially since he came back from an early speeding penalty.
“To be honest with you, where we are with the team and the result, it’s pretty good,” he said. “I’m still running until the end of the year with (sponsor) Target, and I want to make sure I can do the best for them.”
Brian Vickers was fourth, followed by Joey Logano, Paul Menard and Jeff Gordon.
Marcos Ambrose was eighth and Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top 10.
With two races remaining, at Atlanta and Richmond, to set the Chase field, only points leader Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer and Kenseth have locked up berths. The rest of the top 10 in points are Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Earnhardt, Kahne, Biffle and Logano.
Defending series champion Brad Keselowski is 11th, four points out of 10th and not in Chase contention because he’s winless so far.
The two drivers currently in position for the wild-card berths are Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.MORE IN Wire SportsBALTIMORE — Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps avoided jail time on Friday when a judge... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Vermont Gas Systems puts Phase 2 on hold as the latest estimate for Phase 1 takes a 27 percent leap upward, to a total of $157 million; U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin quits for job with private firm; police cite man in pot bust.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 1972, Christmas bombing of North Vietnam ordered by President Richard Nixon, most lethal strikes of the war; in 1989, U.S. invades Panama to depose, arrest and charge Gen. Manuel Noriega with drug trafficking, racketeering.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Gov. Peter Shumlin announces demise of his single-payer health insurance initiative; convicted first-degree murderer Alan Prue sentenced to 50 years for killing teacher Melissa Jenkins; veterans chafed about park naming snub.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 497 BC, first Saturnalia festival celebrated in Rome, Scandinavians retain 'Yule Goat' as symbol of season, Krampus, evil side of holiday cheer, terrorizes children into better behavior, more advice from Christopher Hitchens.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 533 AD, Byzantine Emperor Justinian I gets the old empire back together again routing the Vandals from Carthage; in 1890, Lakota Chief Sitting Bull is killed at his home in South Dakota; in 1970, Soviets land probe on Venus.
- DUANE CARLETON: Rutland Herald Events Editor George Nostrand interviews musician Duane Carleton, whose new CD 'A GIRL LIKE THAT' drops Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, and will be celebrated that evening with a show at 9:30 p.m. at Killington's Pickle Barrel.