NASCAR »

Kahne takes exciting victory at Bristol

Busch paid for not having a full set of new tyres by getting passed by Kahne on lap 167, putting Kahne in prime position to benefit from Hamlin suffering from a suspected loose right rear tyre affecting handling to take the lead on lap 190. He held the lead until Landon Cassill hit the wall on lap 237 to bring out a caution that facilitated the next round of pit stops.

The field was once again led to the green flag by a JGR car - but this time it wasn't Hamlin or Busch, but the newest member of the driver line-up, Matt Kenseth. He took off at the restart ahead of Jimmie Johnson and with Hamlin, Kahne, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle in pursuit.

Richard Petty Motorsports' Aric Almirola tapped the wall thanks to a cut tyre just before the midway point of the race but didn't bring out a caution - not immediately, anyway. He limped back to the pits, got a new set of tyres and ventured out again - and promptly spun in turn 3 which did finally bring out a caution and put him out of the race.

"We were having a solid day," said Almirola after being cleared by the in-field care centre. "Coming off pit road somebody ran into my left-rear and I guess it cut the tyre down," he said of the initial incident. "We took off on that restart and I was out of control and crashed. We just had a flat left-rear."

Some new players were now coming into contention in the race, having used the first half of the event to get on top of some early initial set-up and handling problems. The Penske Racing duo of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano in particular suddenly seemed to spark into life, the two taking it in turns to do battle with Hamlin to break into the top five.

A mixture of tyre strategies in the next round of stop - under a yellow on lap 322 for a hard solo hit against the wall for Dave Blaney in turn 1 - saw Kenseth drop out of the lead to sixth place, the first time all day that no JGR car was in the top five - which now consisted of Gordon, Kahne, Harvick, Logano and Keselowski. Gordon took off at the front and was pursued by Logano, while Hamlin rectified the JGR situation by quickly slipping into third place.

That put Hamlin right behind Logano, his former team mate at JGR last year. The two drivers had been having a simmering feud ever since Daytona, when Hamlin had felt he'd been blocked by Logano and took to Twitter to post a subtle swipe aimed at Logano, which had gone down as well as you'd imagine. But Hamlin denied that this tension had been behind what transpired next, as Logano slipped off the back of Gordon's car and promptly got hit from behind by Hamlin and duly wrecked.

"No, it didn't have anything to do with that," insisted Hamlin when asked if he'd been trying to administer some bump-and-run payback for previous grievances. "You've got to control your car and he slid up into me and really he would have been in the garage with no radiator in it had I not checked up twice." However, Hamlin also added: "I meant to run into him. Didn't mean to spin him out," indicating that he'd perhaps seen a chance to release some of that pent-up frustration by delivering a bump-and-run that had ended up being more brutal than Hamlin had intended.

"I was racing for the lead and it's frustrating," fumed Logano. "That's a freaking genius behind the wheel of the #11 car - probably the worst teammate I ever had, so I learned that now," he added. "He decided to run in the back of me, so, whatever. I have a scorecard and I'm not putting up with that. What goes around comes around."

Hamlin almost spun out at the restart on lap 354 which meant he dropped from second place behind Gordon to sixth place, and lucky it wasn't worse. His team mate Kenseth was flying the JGR colours once again, now competing with Kahne and Johnson for second place, but Gordon looked comfortably in control of the race - right up to lap 391, when suddenly a tyre blew on the #24 and was turned sharply into the outside wall at turn 4.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, and Michael McDowell, driver of the #98 Ford, spin out after an incident in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Gary Eller - Pool/Getty Images)
Tony Stewart drives the wrecked #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet after cutting a tire early during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.