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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]
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, finished eighth and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, finished 35th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
The #28 Texas 28 Spirits Stage Dodge, driven by JJ Yeley, is seen after an on-track incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet, leads during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones in action in the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Hellmann`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Hellmann`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Hellmann`s Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane with Jared Fogle of Subway after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Slim Jim/Menards Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Slim Jim/Menards Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Slim Jim/Menards Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Slim Jim/Menards Toyota, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance/Thankamillionteachers.Com Chevrolet SS qualified 3rd Thursday, May 22, 2014 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Kahne is 16th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet, leads Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 17, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Coatings Chevrolet SS won Saturday, May 10, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. Teammates Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance/Thankamillonteachers.Com Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. Gordon continues to lead the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Coatings Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, May 10, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. Teammates Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance/Thankamillonteachers.Com Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. Gordon continues to lead the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Coatings Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, May 10, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. Teammates Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance/Thankamillonteachers.Com Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. Gordon continues to lead the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)

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