Kahne Holds off Hamlin and Wins at New Hampshire

Kahne celebrates after winning Photo- Getty Images

A strategy filled afternoon in New Hampshire put Kasey Kahne in victory lane at the end of the race. Kahne won his second race of the season and put himself in the first wild card position. Kahne said to make the chase he “need(s) to stay after it.” This win was definitely a momentum builder for Kahne and will help him come chase time. The rain threatened but never arrived at the track.

Pole-sitter Kyle Busch led all the laps until the first round of green-flag pit stops began on lap 60. Busch had a slow stop and then received a speeding penalty. That put Busch in 22nd position. Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin then assumed the lead after pit stops. The first caution of the day came out on lap 89 when debris was spotted on the track. Jeff Gordon did not pit and he took over as race leader followed by Hamlin, Johnson, Kahne and Earnhardt Jr. Hamlin would soon take the lead from Gordon.

Hendrick dominance was present in the race and on lap 98 we saw all four Hendrick drivers in the top five. At the halfway point in the race, Hamlin led followed by Johnson, Kahne, Earnhardt Jr and Keselowski. On lap 154 the second round of green-flag pit stops began. Hamlin still was the leader following the stops. The second yellow-flag came out on lap 191 when more debris was spotted on the track. On the restart, Kyle Busch who stayed out was the leader. Hamlin would soon pass Busch and inherit the lead.

On lap 235 the caution came out for David Reutimann who blew his engine and left liquid on the track. Just before the caution came out, we saw Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch pit and that put them both a lap down and Johnson received the lucky dog. Busch would take the wave around and get back on the lead lap. Kasey Kahne made the strategic move and took two tires and the lead for the restart. Hamlin decided to take four tires and started deep in the field on the restart.

On lap 272, Hamlin continued his quest to the front and passed Earnhardt Jr for third. Hamlin eventually passed Bowyer for second and started to charge towards Kahne. Hamlin would come up short of reaching Kahne in the final laps and Kahne would cross the line first to pick up his second victory of the season. With the win, Kahne improved his chase chances that much more. Kahne said in victory lane that “Hamlin was obviously the best car” and he was lucky to beat Hamlin in the closing laps.

Kahne moved up to twelfth in points and now holds the first wild car position. Kyle Busch now holds the second wild card position. If Carl Edwards wins a race, he will be in position for a wild card spot. Kahne showed today that he is serious about contending for the championship by winning a race and almost setting a lock on a wild card position for him. In two weeks, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Indianapolis to kick-off ESPN’s coverage of the races. Before the Indianapolis race arrives, we should know the fate of A.J Allmendinger. The championship chase will heat up after this off-week as we near the start of the chase for the Sprint Cup.

Results via Nascar.com

FIN

ST

CAR

DRIVER

MAKE

SPONSOR

PTS/BNS

LAPS

STATUS

1 2 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet HendrickCars.com 47/4 301 Running
2 3 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Office 44/2 301 Running
3 5 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy 42/1 301 Running
4 9 88 Dale Earnhardt   Jr. Chevrolet National Guard ‘An American Salute’ / Diet Mountain Dew 40/0 301 Running
5 22 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 40/1 301 Running
6 8 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Pepsi Max 39/1 301 Running
7 7 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s 38/1 301 Running
8 12 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser Folds of Honor 36/0 301 Running
9 11 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 35/0 301 Running
10 6 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Aspen Dental 34/0 301 Running
11 4 56 Martin Truex Jr.   Toyota NAPA Batteries 33/0 301 Running
12 10 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Mobil 1 32/0 301 Running
13 27 17 Matt Kenseth Ford NESN 31/0 301 Running
14 16 20 Joey Logano Toyota Dollar General 30/0 301 Running
15 15 55 Brian Vickers Toyota MyClassicGara
ge.com / Aaron’s
29/0 301 Running
16 1 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Interstate Batteries 29/1 301 Running
17 13 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Quaker State / Menards 27/0 301 Running
18 21 99 Carl Edwards Ford Fastenal / Lenox 26/0 301 Running
19 20 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford DEWALT 25/0 301 Running
20 28 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / NRA Museum 24/0 300 Running
21 25 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Wheaties 23/0 300 Running
22 24 22 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Shell / Pennzoil-AAA 0 300 Running
23 18 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Kingsford 21/0 300 Running
24 14 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Services 21/1 299 Running
25 31 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 19/0 299 Running
26 17 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row / Farm American 18/0 298 Running
27 39 38 David Gilliland Ford Glory Foods 17/0 298 Running
28 23 43 Aric Almirola Ford U.S. Air Force 16/0 298 Running
29 29 83 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 15/0 297 Running
30 30 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 14/0 297 Running
31 37 32 Ken Schrader Ford Federated Auto Parts 13/0 294 Running
32 43 33 Stephen Leicht * Chevrolet Little Joes A
utos.com
12/0 293 Running
33 26 10 David Reutimann Chevrolet CarportEmpire
.com / TMone.com Call Centers in America
11/0 229 Engine
34 19 34 David Ragan Ford MHP / 8 Hour Alert 10/0 139 Engine
35 40 30 David Stremme Toyota Stock Car Steel and Aluminum 9/0 101 Vibration
36 33 13 Casey Mears Ford GEICO 8/0 91 Vibration
37 32 26 Josh Wise * Ford MDS Transport 7/0 82 Brakes
38 34 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AM / FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves 0 71 Brakes
39 35 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Golden Corral 5/0 68 Brakes
40 36 98 Michael McDowell   Ford Phil Parsons Racing 4/0 63 Vibration
41 41 23 Scott Riggs Chevrolet North Texas Pipe 3/0 32 Vibration
42 42 179 Kelly Bires Ford Team Kyle / Bestway Disposal 2/0 19 Brakes
43 38 249 J.J. Yeley Toyota Robinson-Blak 1/0 4 Engine

 

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