KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Matt Kenseth completed a dominating performance at Kansas Speedway Sunday by holding off Kasey Kahne to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400.
Kenseth started from the pole and led a race-high 163 laps during the 267-lap event, becoming the third-straight driver to win from the pole in Sprint Cup competition. It is the first time since 1985 pole winners have won three-straight Sprint Cup races.
“I really thought he had me,” Kenseth said of Kahne. “The car was starting to get loose into three and it got really loose into three with about five to go. I actually did it twice in a row and thought we were going to get beat.”
In the closing laps it looked like Kahne was going to track down Kenseth for the race lead. Kenseth was better through turns one and two and would pull away from Kenseth down the backstretch, but Kahne would close the gap through turns three and four.
Kahne took his best with two laps to go, peeking under Kenseth in an attempt to take the race lead. Kenseth would have none of it, pulling away to a .151-second victory over Kahne.
It was Kenseth’s 26th career victory in Sprint Cup competition and the second time in his career he won a race from the pole. He has won the last two Sprint Cup events at Kansas Speedway.
“Our cars have been so incredibly fast all year. We don’t have all the finishes to show for it, but I’m so thankful to have another win,” Kenseth said. “Hopefully that will get us up there in the points.”
This is the second time this year Kahne has finished second to Kenseth. The two battled for the victory under similar circumstances earlier this year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with Kenseth just edging Kahne for the victory.
“I needed clouds. We tightened up a little bit on that final run,” Kahne said. “Matt was fast. I felt like I did everything I could and he’d kind of go to those spots and I couldn’t make any ground. It was still a good race.”
Jimmie Johnson finished third, followed by Michael Waltrip Racing teammates Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer.