Matt Kenseth celebrates in Victory Lane after inning the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR

Matt Kenseth wins the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway


Matt Kenseth staked claim on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship with a win in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night.

Kenseth passed Kyle Busch with 25 laps to go and held on in a series of late restarts to win his first race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

The victory was Kenseth’s third of the season.

The victory moved Kenseth from fifth in points to third. He now trails points leader Carl Edwards by seven points with five races left  in the 2011 season.

Five-time Sprint Cup Series champion, Jimmie Johnson, had his own issues. On Lap 316, Johnson was battling Ryan Newman and took a massive hit into the wall. Johnson was able to climb from his car unassisted. The wreck would drop him to 8th in the standings.

Next on the Sprint Cup schedule is the 2.66 mile Talladega Superspeedway.

Finishing Order:

1. Matt Kenseth
2. Kyle Busch
3. Carl Edwards
4. Kasey Kahne
5. Marcos Ambrose
6. Kevin Harvick
7. AJ Allmendinger
8. Tony Stewart
9. Denny Hamlin
10.  Ryan Newman
11.  David Ragan
12. Joey Logano
13. Kurt Busch
14. Juan Pablo Montoya
15. Greg Biffle
16. Brad Keselowski
17. Paul Menard
18. Jeff Burton
19. Dale Earnhardt, Jr
20. Brian Vickers
21. Jeff Gordon
22. JJ Yeley
23. Martin Truex, Jr
24. Clint Bowyer
25. Regan Smith
26.  David Reuitimann
27. Jamie McMurray
28. Landon Cassill
29. Bobby Labonte
30. Mike Bliss
31. Trevor Bayne
32.  Casey Mears
33.  Hermie Sadler
34. Jimmie Johnson
35. Dave Blanney
36.  David Gililland
37.  Mark Martin
38.  Robby Gordon
39. Michael McDowell
40. Travis Kvapil
41.  David Stremme
42. Andy Lally
43.  Joe Nemechek

Tags: Charlotte Motor Speedway Matt Kenseth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series