Kenseth Banks Charlotte Chase Win
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on October 15, 2011 | 11:18 P.M. EST
Kenseth celebrates his second points-paying win at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)
CONCORD, N.C. - Matt Kenseth scored the win in Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to climb two positions in the championship standings to third.
Kenseth got by Kyle Busch in the closing laps and went on to take his third checkered flag of the season after leading 46 laps on the night from the second starting spot.
"Got lined up fourth on the second to last restart, which was important, and I was able to make the top work for me," Kenseth said. "I just raced as hard as I could and thankfully I had just a little bit more than Kyle had."
It marked the 21st victory of Kenseth's career.
Busch, who suffered a similar fate in Friday night’s Nationwide Series race when Carl Edwards passed him on the final restart, was forced to start last after an engine change prior to the race. He put on a furious charge to get to the front of the field but was forced to settle for second.
"Kenseth just out drove me," said Busch, who led 111 laps. "He found something out of nothing where there wasn’t anything to be found for us. You try to run that extra 10 percent and sometimes you can find speed -- most of the time I can’t -- he did. I’m already there. I can’t get no more. Those guys just made something better there at the end. The guys gave me a great race car. This M&M’s Camry was awesome. I didn’t make a change to it all night. Just come home and rode with what we could.”
Edwards, who also raced hard with Busch in the closing laps, finished third to maintain his lead in the championship standings.
"That's a big run for us in the points race here," Edwards said. "I'm just proud of my guys. This race track we were a little nervous about. It was one that I had circled on the schedule that I didn't know exactly what to expect coming here. Came out of here with the points lead and that's huge."
Kasey Kahne finished fourth for his third consecutive top five of the season.
Marcos Ambrose pushed his consecutive top 10 streak on the season to three with a fifth-place finish.
Kevin Harvick, AJ Allmendinger, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman completed the top 10.
What was a relatively quiet first two thirds of the race was anything but in the final stages with a variety of cautions for spins and incidents, the biggest coming with 25 laps to go and involving Jimmie Johnson.
Johnson was running seventh when he lost control of his Lowe’s Chevrolet racing with Newman through Turns 1 and 2. He slid up the track and made violent impact with the outside wall destroying his car.
"The 39 (Newman) was just real tight on my right-rear quarter getting into Turn 1," Johnson said. "It just took the air off the side of my car and around I went. From there I was trying save the slide and got pointed back at the fence and hammered the wall."
Johnson was uninjured in the accident but suffered a major blow in the standings falling to eighth place and 35 points out of the lead.
"We've got five races left and we'll go out and give one hundred percent and see where it shakes out," Johnson said. "Definitely not the night we wanted, but not much we can do about it now."
Edwards increased his lead in the standings to five over Harvick with Kenseth now seven back, Kyle Busch is 18 behind and Tony Stewart trails by 24.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now heads to Talladega Superspeedway for next Sunday’s Good Sam Club 500.