Matt Kenseth sealed his place in this year's Chase for the Championship with victory in Saturday night's Sharpie 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

Kenseth conquered the spectacular half-mile Bristol oval for the second time this weekend as his second consecutive Cup win came just one night after he emerged victorious in Friday's Busch Series race.

The Roush Racing driver's win also guaranteed him a place in the ten race championship chase and moved him to within seven points of series leader Jimmie Johnson, who also locked up a spot in the chase thanks to his tenth place finish.

Kenseth took control of the 500-lap race with 180 laps remaining, ousting Jeff Burton from top spot and only briefly relinquishing the lead to Dale Earnhardt Jr following a round of pitstops.

Breaking clear of the pack following the final restart of the night with 50 laps remaining, Kenseth came under pressure in the final few laps as Kyle Busch closed to within a couple of car lengths of the #17 Ford but the 2003 Champion kept his cool and went on to successfully defend his 2005 Sharpie 500 title.

Busch's second place finish came on a night that saw him drop out of the top 30 at one point following a tardy pitstop from his #5 Hendrick Motorsports crew while Earnhardt Jr's third place effort was just as impressive from 40th on the starting grid.

Scott Riggs nudged Jeff Gordon out of the way on the final lap to take fourth place with rookie Denny Hamlin coming home an excellent sixth.

Carl Edwards kept his feint title chances alive with a seventh place run with Ryan Newman, long-time leader Burton and the ever-consistent Johnson completing the top ten.

Kevin Harvick overcame a puncture and a brush with the wall to take eleventh place while a twelfth place finish wasn't enough to lift Kasey Kahne back into the Chase with just two races now remaining until the cut-off mark.

As usual the menacing Bristol bullring provided many a headache, not least for polesitter Kurt Busch and defending series champion Tony Stewart. Busch damaged the front of his Penske Dodge against the spinning car of Reed Sorensen half way through the race and then lost 50 laps when his transmission failed while Stewart could never get on top of his #20 Joe Gibbs Chevrolet and finished two laps down in 22nd.