NASCAR: Matt Kenseth Holds Off Kasey Kahne For Bristol Sprint Cup Victory
Kasey Kahne failed to exact revenge on Joe Gibbs Racing with a victory over Matt Kenseth (pictured) at the Sprint Cup race at Bristol on Saturday. Kenseth had the lead, and when Kahne couldn’t find a way to cleanly make a play past him, he held it until the finish line.
Kenseth’s win gave him his fifth of the season, putting him ahead of all other Sprint Cup drivers. Kahne, meanwhile, in choosing to race clean, came in a disappointing second place – his third time coming in as the runner up behind Kenseth this season. With his win, Kenseth has secured a wild-card berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship at the very least.
Kahne didn’t take his second-place finish lightly. "I don't know. I just…I think at the end of the day, I just don't wreck people,” the disappointed driver said following the race, according to USA Today Sports. “I just didn't get it done and I'm upset with myself for not figuring out how to win."
It wasn’t lost on Kenseth that Kahne conscientiously chose not to wreck him for a win. "Kasey's as good as they get and he's a clean driver," the winning driver said. "He raced as hard as he could, we ran out of room off (turn) four, we were both digging as hard as we could to try to get it. Kasey's just an unbelievable talent, he wanted it bad. We raced as hard as we could race and used every inch of race track."
In order for Kahne – who has two Sprint Cup wins so far – to make it into the Chase, he’s going to need to get good results in the final two Sprint Cup races left. He’s currently eighth in the standings; there are 12 spots in the Chase race to be filled.
Coming in third at Bristol was Juan Pablo Montala, followed by Brain Vickers, Joey Logano, Paul Menard and Jeff Gordon. Marcos Ambrose finished in eighth place, followed by Greg Biffle in ninth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in tenth.
The next two Sprint Cup races will take place in Atlanta and Richmond, respectively. In addition to Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer have also secured berths to the Chase.
– Chelsea Regan