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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]
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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, pulls out of the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on July 24, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, affixes the winner`s decal to his car in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts at Kentucky Speedway on July 11, 2015 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway on July 9, 2015 in Sparta, Kentucky.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Camping World Truck Series UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway on July 9, 2015 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joe Gibbs Racing`s Ross Kenseth in action during the rain-delayed Owens Corning AttiCat 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday June 21 2015. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Chi-Chi`s/Menards Toyota, races during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway on June 19, 2015 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to victory, Sunday, June 14, 2015, in the rain shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet Chevrolet SS greets fans before the race Sunday, June 14, 2015. Busch won the rain shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by John M. Galloway for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet Chevrolet SS races to victory followed by second place finisher Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Amp Energy Chevrolet SS, and third place finisher Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS Sunday, June 14, 2015, in the rain shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 14, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 14, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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