Race recap: Matt Kenseth clinched his spot in the upcoming NASCAR Nextel Cup playoff "Chase" by winning at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday night. It was Kenseth's second consecutive victory and his fourth on the season. Jeff Burton...
Race recap: Matt Kenseth clinched his spot in the upcoming NASCAR Nextel Cup playoff "Chase" by winning at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday night. It was Kenseth's second consecutive victory and his fourth on the season.
Jeff Burton controlled much of the race, leading a total of 263 laps around the high-banked, half-mile track, all within the race's first 381 laps. Kenseth, who paced the field for 117 of the 500 laps, passed Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the final time on lap 399 and led the rest of the way.
The race was slowed by a total of 10 caution periods for 62 laps.
With his victory, Kenseth closed to within seven points of Jimmie Johnson in the championship standings, with two races left in the "regular season." Both drivers are locked into the championship. The race for the 10 spots that will qualify for the "playoffs" is tight -- positions four through 10 are separated by just 48 points.
The series is right back in action at California Speedway next Sunday.
Companion events: Matt Kenseth started his weekend off right by winning the NASCAR Busch Series race at Bristol on Friday night. Kenseth overcame an early race pit road speeding penalty and passed championship leader Kevin Harvick on lap 235 of 250 to win the race.
Mark Martin started the Bristol sweep for Roush Racing by winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Wednesday night. Martin held off series points leader Todd Bodine for the victory.
Goodyear quote -- Chad Fletcher, Busch Series marketing manager: "The Goodyear Racing engineering team was very pleased with the performance of our tires at Bristol. Teams were able to optimize the grip of the tires and put their cars anywhere on the track they needed to. Teams in all three series enjoyed several long, green-flag runs that showed the durability and consistency of our tires."