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Kahne goes big in Texas.

Kasey Kahne became the eleventh different winner in eleven Nextel Cup Series races at the Texas Motor Speedway as he translated pole position into a well timed win in Sunday's Samsung/RadioShack 500.

Saving his equipment sensibly for the majority of the 334-lap blast around the high banked 1.5-mile Texas oval, Kahne switched into high gear for the final 17 lap green flag sprint to the finish, opening a five second advantage over Matt Kenseth by the time the chequered flag waved.

When the ninth caution flag of the afternoon waved on lap 312, Kahne initially appeared to be at something at a disadvantage, his #9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge seeming more suited to longer green flag runs than short blasts. The last yellow was especially ill-timed for Kahne, who had only moved past Tony Stewart for the lead five laps prior to the caution following a lengthy duel with the defending series champion, although it did preclude a fast approaching final round of green flag pitstops.

With all the leading runners now fully fuelled to the finish, Kahne's #9 crew got him off pit road ahead of Stewart but when the green flag waved, Stewart's expected advantage on restarts never materialised, allowing Kahne to slip away into the distance. Driving the same car he used to win pole position and the race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this year, Kahne cruised to his second perfect weekend of the season leaving those behind to provide the excitement.

Excitement there was, as Matt Kenseth fought past Stewart for second on lap 322 and rookie Denny Hamlin winning a major scrap for fourth as Clint Bowyer's late two tyre pitstop gamble failed to pay off. Bowyer dropped from fourth to eleventh in the final laps before a last lap crash dropped him to 19th.

Bowyer's Richard Childress Racing teammates Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton finished fifth and sixth with Kahne's teammate Scott Riggs an impressive seventh after running as high as third in the laps before the final caution.

Martin Truex Jr's eighth place finish was one of a number of strong rookie performances, the driver of the #1 DEI Chevrolet passing Mark Martin in the closing laps to secure his first top ten finish of the season.

Bobby Labonte completed the top ten, safely putting the #43 Petty Enterprises team back into the top 35 in owner points while Jimmie Johnson managed to hang on to the driver points lead with an eleventh place finish despite dropping as low as 28th when he lost two laps by making a green flag pitstop shortly before a caution in the early stages of the race.

Eight cars were officially listed as out of the event, including Greg Biffle, who dominated the opening laps before getting punted into the back straight wall at full tilt by Kurt Busch, and Biffle's teammate Carl Edwards who also led convincingly before he lost control of his #99 Roush Ford coming off turn two on lap 257 and smacked the inside wall.

The Nextel Cup teams now have a week off for Easter before reconvening at the one –mile Phoenix International Raceway for the second Saturday night spring race in the Arizona desert.





Related Pictures

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RICHMOND, VA - MAY 13:  Kasey Kahne driving the #9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge during practice for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Chevy American Revolution 400 on May 13, 2005 at the Richmond International Raceway  in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo By Darrell Ingham/G
Tony Stewart addresses the media in Las Vegas. [Pic Credit Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil/Hertz Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil/Hertz Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil/Hertz Ford, races to the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil/Hertz Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Damage to the winshield of Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Spring is Calling Chevrolet, is repaired on pit road during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, crashes early in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, lead the field past the green flag after the initial caution ended during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, pits his car damaged by a jet dryer early in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, lead the field past the green flag after the initial caution ended during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The Air-Titan runs on track prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 6, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, drives in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 5, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 5, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Ford EcoBoost Ford, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 5, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop Toyota, at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane with Ryan Pemberton after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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