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Kenseth completes Bristol sweep.

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.


Related Pictures

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Matt Kenseth, Roush Racing Ford, Brickyard 400 testing. [Pic Credit IMS Media/Ron McQueeney]
NASCAR Nextel Cup Series #5 Kelloggs Monte Carlo/Kyle Busch (Hendrick Motorsports)-Daytona International Speedway,Daytona Beach,FL-2/06. ©Dorsey Patrick  (usa)
Dale Earnhardt Jr, DEI Chevrolet, Indianapolis 2006. [Pic Credit IMS Media/Steve Snoddy]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop Toyota, at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Doors / Menards Toyota, poses in Victory Lane with the trophy after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Doors / Menards Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Doors / Menards Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton ready for racing at Daytona International Speedway on 14 January 2014. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton in action at Daytona International Speedway on 14 January 2014. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, lead the field to turn one during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 23, 2014 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, take the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 23, 2014 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series TREATMYCLOT.COM 300 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2014 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Elliott Sadler, driver of the #11 GameStop-Turtle Beach Toyota, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop Toyota, lead the field into turn one during the NASCAR Nationwide Series TREATMYCLOT.COM 300 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2014 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates setting the pole position in qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2014 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates setting the pole position in qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2014 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, talks with crew chief Jason Ratcliff (right) and his crew after qualifying on the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2014 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS finished 10th Sunday, March 16, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Larson is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS finished 8th and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 24th Sunday, March 16, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Kahne is 11th, Earnhardt, Jr. is 2nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)

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