Kenseth Wins Wild Kansas Race

Matt Kenseth

Kenseth's second win in the Chase marked his 24th career win in his 468th start. (Photo: Getty Images)

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Matt Kenseth claimed his third win of the season in Sunday's caution-filled NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

The Roush Fenway Racing driver survived a crash-filled day and a record 14 cautions including his own trip into the wall to take the checkered flag in the first race held at the reconfigured Kansas track.

"It means lot," Kenseth said in an emotional Victory Lane celebration. "I just have to thank God for the opportunities he has put in front of me and the guidance he has given me throughout my whole life. I have to thank Jack Roush and (competition director) Robbie Reiser and (former teammate Mark Martin. Without them, I would have never been at Roush Fenway Racing."

It was the 24th win of his Sprint Cup career and second in the last three weeks after his Talladega victory to start the month of October.

“I thought it was over when I got in the fence when Aric (Almirola) wrecked under Mark (Martin),” said Kenseth. “I was watching them and trying to make sure I didn’t hit them and I flat sided it pretty bad. It ended up working in our favor. They fixed the body as good as it was when we started and we had to take less gas in that last pit stop and this pit crew put me out front.”

Martin Truex Jr., Paul Menard (Read More), pole sitter Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart rounded out the top five.

Clint Bowyer, Regan Smith, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon completed the first ten across the finish line.

Smith, who started 38th, roared back to the front of the field and in what should be his final start as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s replacement came home with a solid top-10 finish.

“These past two weeks we had arguably a better car last week had we had a chance to run the whole race,” said Smith, who was tabbed to pinch hit for Earnhardt while he recovers from a concussion. “It’s been nice to be able to step in and have them treat me like their normal driver. I know Dale is excited to get back so that is going to good for him. Looking forward to whatever comes next for me.”

Johnson rallied back from a crash of his own when he hit the wall hard racing with Martin Truex Jr.

“I crashed the car,” said Johnson, who still trails Keselowski by seven points in the Chase standings. “I spun out trying to get inside the 56. He bobbled a little in front of me and I thought that it was an opportunity to jump in the gas real hard and when I did that, my car took off and I couldn't catch it." (Read More)

Keselowski avoided near disaster when he slid to avoid an accident around the midway point in the race. His top 10 finish allowed the Penske Racing driver to maintain the Chase point lead.

“It’s just a long day,” said Keselowski. “Everybody has been asking all season long where have all the cautions been? The answer is that they flew to Kansas because there was caution after caution and it seemed like every wreck today seemed to happen in front of me. I’m glad to survive the carnage and brought back a decent car, the Miller Lite Dodge, in OK shape and dodged a bullet. That’s the only way that I can describe it.”

There were other incidents that set off high emotions between drivers including a tangle between Danica Patrick and Landon Cassill. After the duo initially made contact, Patrick took offense and extracted revenge on lap 155 when she touched Cassill’s car and set off a wreck.

"My situation with (Cassill) is really a product of frustration," Patrick said. "He got into me on the front straight and said I was just in the way. That's really no good reason to hit me. If it's one time, I can imagine it's frustration, but it's been quite a few times with him."

Keselowski is ahead of Johnson by seven points with Denny Hamlin 20 out, Bowyer 25 behind and Kahne trailing by 30.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now heads to Martinsville Speedway for next Sunday’s TUMS Fast Relief 500.

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