Matt Kenseth dominated the STP 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, en route to his second win of the season. After starting the race from the pole, he led 110 of the first 111 laps of the race before pit strategy during a caution sent him back a few spots in the running order. He was back up front with 50 laps to go, though, and held off Kasey Kahne to claim the victory.
“I really thought he (Kahne) had me,” Kenseth said. “My car was really getting loose in (turn) three.”
Unable to catch Kenseth in the closing laps, Kahne had to settle for second.
“I needed clouds. We tightened up a little bit on that final run and putting two on, and zero, I knew we were going to be a little loose but didn’t think it would be quite that bad,” Kahne said of his inability to catch Kenseth in the closing laps. “Matt was fast and I just did everything I could and he would go to those spots and I couldn’t make any ground.”
Jimmie Johnson worked his way toward the front fairly quickly in the early stages of the race and wound up with a third-place finish.
“I drove right up through the field and got to the front and at times felt like my Kobalt Tools Chevrolet to win,” Johnson said. “The last two runs we were a little too tight but other than that, a really strong performance with a car that drove through traffic, which is hard to do in today’s world of racing. So happy to be able to do that.”
Kenseth gave up the lead to head down pit road during a caution on lap 112. Martin Truex Jr., Jamie McMurray, Mark Martin Brad Keselowski stayed out during the caution to restart the race in the first two rows.
Those drivers who stayed out were forced to head down pit road under green around lap 147, but those who did pit headed down pit road, also under green, a few laps later. Truex, Johnson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Carl Edwards each spent some time up front before Kenseth retook the lead with about 50 laps remaining.
After a caution with about 50 laps to go, Kenseth restarted the race in the lead, with Truex in second and Johnson in third. Kahne quickly got by Truex and Johnson to move into the second spot.
Truex finished fourth, and Clint Bowyer was fifth. Despite going a lap down early because of lengthy pit stops to repair damage to his car after on-track contact in the opening laps of the race, Keselowski recovered to finish sixth.
Finishing seventh through 10th were McMurray, Aric Almirola, Martin and Paul Menard.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR