On lap 472 Kahne caught and passed Montoya for second. He then began to chase down Kenseth. With 18 laps left Kahne was right behind Kenseth and began looking for a way around the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota.
With 14 laps left Kahne got alongside Kenseth while the two battled lapped traffic. They stayed that way for two laps before Kenseth was able to pull back ahead. Kahne tried again with 11 laps left, this time swapping paint as they battled for the lead.
Again Kahne couldn’t get the job done as he fell in behind Kenseth. Kahne continued chasing Kenseth and got back alongside him with five laps left, but he once again failed to complete the pass. He tried again two laps later and again couldn’t complete the pass.
Kahne tucked in behind Kenseth and was all over him as they crossed under the white flag. Kahne tried to use his bumper to move Kenseth out of the way down the backstretch and in turns three and four on the final lap, but Kenseth was able to hold serve and score his third Bristol victory.
“I had just enough to hold on. I had just enough fuel and just enough tires,” said Kenseth, who with his five wins currently owns the top seed in the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup. “I am so proud of this group behind me. I messed up and sped on pit road and we were able to overcome that.
“We won the Bristol night race. This is pretty awesome,” Kenseth added.
Kahne said after the race that he simply didn’t get the job done.
“I had a really good Farmer’s Insurance Chevrolet,” Kahne said. “I just didn’t get it done. I didn’t win. I had the better car. The guy’s did an awesome job in the pits. I feel bad I didn’t win. We needed it, this would have been big for us.
“I am upset with myself for not figuring out how to win tonight. I clearly had the better car,” Kahne added.
Montoya finished third, followed by Vickers and Michigan winner Joey Logano.
Several championship contenders had rough nights, including Jimmie Johnson. The five-time series champion was involved in a crash on lap 358 and finished 36th. Other Chase contenders to finish poorly were Edwards (39th), Truex (35th), Harvick (34th), Kurt Busch (31st) and Keselowski (30th).