Kasey Kahne won the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday. The victory was his first in 18 starts at one of NASCAR’s top tracks.
Kahne’s first win this season was helped when Brad Keselowski spun his tires on a restart with just 40 laps to go. The No. 5 driver was able to take the lead and keep it until the checkered flag flew.
It was not only the first win for Kahne at Bristol, it was also the first of the season for Hendrick Motorsports. Other Hendrick cars finished in 6th (Dale Earnhardt Jr.), 22nd (Jimmie Johnson), and 34th (Jeff Gordon).
Two of the strongest cars of the day weren’t as lucky as Kasey Kahne. Jeff Gordon, who led the race for 65 laps, saw his tire go down with 100 laps to go. His No. 24 car went hard into the wall and took out second-place driver Matt Kenseth. Kenseth led 85 laps of the race.
The incident drastically changed the rest of the Food City 500 at Bristol. Kahne, who already led 67 laps, took the lead, but lost it when he went in for a pit stop. He battled his way back, but couldn’t get past Keselowski to retake the lead. The pair raced bumper-to-bumper on Bristol’s short track until Jimmie Johnson brought out the final caution.
The resulting restart saw Keselowski spin his tires — a move that can mean the difference between winning and coming in second. And this time it did. Kasey Kahne was able to steer past and build himself a substantial lead as Kyle Busch fought with Keselowski for second place. Busch ended up winning the battle.
After Kasey Kahne took the checkered flag, Busch followed. Third place went to Keselowski, fourth to Kurt Busch, and fifth to Bowyer. Kahne’s final margin of victory was 1.700 seconds. Despite the win, Kahne still took second place in most laps led with 109. Denny Hamlin led the most with 117 laps.
Are you happy that Kasey Kahne won the Food City 500 at Bristol? What are you looking forward to most about next week’s Auto Club 400 in Fontana, California?
[Image via Twitter]