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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]
Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, is involved in an on-track incident in front of Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota, and Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, as Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Hormel/Menards Toyota, drives away during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, and Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Hormel/Menards Toyota, race into turn one during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Joey Logano (left), driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with Miss Coors Light Rachel Rupert after winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Joey Logano (left), driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with Miss Coors Light Rachel Rupert after winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 Sport Clips Toyota, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Doug Pensinger/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, climbs into his car prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Fisher Nuts/Menards Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Fisher Nuts/Menards Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Fisher Nuts/Menards Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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