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Kenseth snatches dramatic Dover victory.

Matt Kenseth passed his Roush Racing teammate Jamie McMurray with three laps to go to take victory in Sunday's Neighbourhood Excellence 400 at Dover's 'Monster Mile.'

Kenseth's final pass on McMurray was the culmination of a frantic final 30 laps in which the driver of the #26 Roush Ford battled manfully on older tyres to hold off the advances of first Kevin Harvick and then Kenseth.

Whereas Kenseth ran near the front of the field throughout the 400-lap race, McMurray's race began from the rear of the field following a post-qualifying engine change and didn't pick up until he was awarded the Lucky Dog free pass with just over 100 laps remaining.

A flurry of caution periods between laps 250 and 350 gave many teams an opportunity to try a slightly different fuel and tyre strategy with McMurray moving to the front of the pack less than ten laps after getting the free pass and moving back onto the lead lap.

With Harvick, Kenseth and Jeff Burton squabbling for second at the start of the final green flag run McMurray looked on course for just his second career Cup Series victory but when lapped traffic came into play McMurray's older tyres couldn't compare to Kenseth's slightly fresher rubber.

McMurray held on for second despite the close attentions of Richard Childress Racing teammates Harvick and Burton with Hendrick Motorsport teammates Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson completing the top six, also within striking distance of the winner.

Johnson's drive from 42nd on the grid to sixth was masterful, especially considering how poor his #48 Chevrolet was at the start of the race. With only two caution periods in the opening 260 laps there were precious few chances to improve things and at one point the championship leader was in danger of going two laps down.

However seven caution flags between laps 263 and 344 gave Johnson's Chad Knaus led crew ample time to make the necessary adjustments and after using strategy to get him onto the tail of the lead lap for the lap 312 restart Johnson found himself running eighth with 50 laps remaining. Having made quick work of Dale Earnhardt Jr and Kasey Kahne Johnson was easily the quickest man on track at the end and once again salvaged a good result from a weekend filled with hiccups.

Kahne finished seventh with Greg Biffle eighth, Mark Martin ninth after losing the lead for the second time this year when a crew-member failed to tighten a lug nut correctly and Earnhardt Jr rounding out the top ten.

Polesitter Ryan Newman finished 14th while Ricky Rudd crossed the line in 25th place in relief of Toy Stewart after serving a drive through penalty for breaking the pit lane speed limit during a round of green flag pitstops.

In the standings Johnson's fine recovery allowed him to keep the points lead although Kenseth has now reduced the gap to less than 80 points with Martin third, Earnhardt Jr improving one place to fourth and Stewart slipping to fifth.


Related Pictures

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Matt Kenseth, Roush Racing Ford, Dover 2004
02/10/06 Daytona. Jamie McMurray is the new pilot behind Roush Racing`s Crown Royal Ford Fusion.  Photo Credit: autostock
Kevin Harvick, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, Dover 2004.
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and placing ninth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, and his daughter Elladee take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Crafton drives the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 13, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, leads Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Menards/Hormel Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Menards/Hormel Toyota, stands on the grid with his daughter, Elladee, prior to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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