BUSCH: Kenseth wins a close one in Texas

Matt Kenseth wants to get the word out - free curly fries at Arby's on Monday, for anyone who asks. The driver of the No. 17 Arby's Ford is dispensing cholesterol largesse because he beat Denny Hamlin on Saturday for the O'Reilly 300 victory at...

Matt Kenseth wants to get the word out - free curly fries at Arby's on Monday, for anyone who asks.

The driver of the No. 17 Arby's Ford is dispensing cholesterol largesse because he beat Denny Hamlin on Saturday for the O'Reilly 300 victory at Texas Motor Speedway (average speed 177.871 mph.) It was Kenseth's 23rd career Busch win and the closest NASCAR Busch Series finish in TMS history, with a margin of 0.128 seconds.

He was one lucky dog, since he got loose at lap 55, spun all over the track (losing his second place position) and then worked his way back to the front. He finally passed Hamlin with 11 laps to go and held on for the win.

"I heard the tire pop [before the spinout,]" said Kenseth. "I just kept the gas on it and kept it low.. I was able to figure out how NOT to hit the wall."

Second-place finisher Hamlin was frustrated but resigned: "We had one of the best cars out there..we were on the edge and it caught up to us."

In third place was Kenseth's Roush Fenway Racing teammate, Carl Edwards, who still retains his significant Busch points lead.

"Matt's an unbelievable guy, and obviously a great racer," said Edwards. "He came on my radio and talked to me about it [jockeying for position in the race.] He thought I pinched him a little tight. I told him if he thought that was tight, wait until you see what's coming. He's a good guy, and a lot of fun. I'm glad he won the race."

Juan Pablo Montoya held the lead for a brief moment, and the buzz started about a possible reprise of his recent Busch victory in Mexico. It was not to be - a missed lug nut forced a return to Pit Road, then a tangle with Aussie Busch rookie Marcos Ambrose at Lap 181 sent both limping back to the garage.

Pole winner and Raybestos Rookie of the Race David Ragan led the opening lap in the No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion until Kyle Busch passed him on Lap 3, but ultimately Ragan finished 5th, his first top-five finish in 15 Busch Series starts.

"We want to win and we're going to win some this year but we've got to take some small steps," said Ragan. "We can't let anything crazy happen. We had a strong run and hopefully it will help a little bit for tomorrow [the Samsung 500] but we'll take a top-five. About another six months from now we'll be mad if we finish fifth." At Lap 69, Steve Wallace made contact with Brent Sherman on the front stretch, and then Reed Sorenson, Shane Huffman and Jon Wood also got caught up trying to avoid the wreck.

Another bit of contact between Regan Smith and Kurt Busch at Lap 126 brought out another caution; the rest were debris-related except for the Montoya-Ambrose contact.

Greg Biffle's No. 16 3M Ford Fusion had to drop out with an engine problem; he's won Cup and truck races, but never Busch Series.

The highest finisher among Busch regulars was Jason Leffler's No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, in 13th.

"We started 43rd, which is no easy task here because track position means everything," said Leffler. "The guys did a good job battling back. I'm happy that the car is in one piece and we came out of here with a decent finish and go to Phoenix."

There were seven cautions for 37 laps and 12 lead changes with nine drivers.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Roush Fenway Racing