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Kenseth waltzes to Michigan victory.

2003 Nextel Cup Champion Matt Kenseth underlined his championship credentials with a supreme display at the Michigan International Speedway on Sunday as he won the GFS Marketplace 400.

Kenseth led 87 of 200 laps around the two-mile D-shaped Michigan oval to take his second career Cup Series win at MIS and close the gap to current points leader Jimmie Johnson to just 58.

Jeff Gordon did his chances of making the Chase for the Championship no harm at all with a strong run to second place while Tony Stewart moved up from 33rd on the grid to take third.

Fourth place wasn't enough to put Kasey Kahne back in the Chase although he did manage to reduce the gap between him and tenth place in the standings to less than 50 with his first solid finish in three weeks.

Mark Martin beat Dale Earnhardt Jr to the finish by inches to claim fifth place although Earnhardt Jr looked capable of much more than sixth spot after leading 40 laps before a slow pitstop dropped him to the tail of the top 20.

Greg Biffle managed to keep his slim title chances alive with a seventh place finish ahead of rookies Reed Sorensen and Denny Hamlin while Elliott Sadler began his career with Evernham Motorsports with a tenth place finish.

Kevin Harvick, Robby Gordon and Jimmie Johnson all recovered from spins and/or punctures to finish 11th, 12th and 13th although Carl Edwards' late race brush with the wall cost him a top ten finish and dropped him to 22nd.

While Kahne and Biffle both produced good results in their efforts to keep their chances of making the chase alive, several others saw their feint chances all but snuffed out. In addition to Edwards, Penske teammates Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch saw their hopes disappear as Newman struggled to 25th place and Busch retired after two spins and a final, hard brush with the wall.

Polesitter Jeff Burton had a short day and retired with an engine failure after less than 20 laps had been completed while Mark Martin's touted replacement Todd Kluever had an even shorter day, retiring after ten laps with accident damage. Kyle Busch suffered his worst result in many months after a puncture and contact with the wall and finished 39th while David Gilliland's debut with Robert Yates Racing ended with a 38th place finish after a puncture led to contact with the wall as well.



Related Pictures

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06/24/05 Sonoma. Matt Kenseth is happy with his 24th place starting spot in Sonoma. Photo Credit: autostock
Jeff Gordon. [Pic Credit Todd Warshaw/Getty Images]
Tony Stewart. [Pic Credit IMS Media/Jim Haines]
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and his team celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford takes the chequered flag to win the Nationwide Children`s 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, drives the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford during the Nationwide Children`s 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

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