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article imageNASCAR: Kenseth locks up 'Chase' spot with fifth win of season

By John Duarte     Aug 25, 2013 in Sports
Bristol - It was a close one, but Matt Kenseth managed to stay just far enough ahead of Kasey Kahne to win his fifth race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Saturday night in Tennessee.
The win secures a spot for Kenseth in the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup. He is the only five-time winner in the series to this point of the season.
The Irwin Tools Night Race came down to a drag race between Kenseth and Kahne, who battled for the final 10 laps. Kenseth was quick to praise the second-place finisher.
“Kasey's just an unbelievable talent. He wanted it bad,” Kenseth said. “We raced as hard as we could race and used every inch of the race track.”
As for Kahne, it was the third time this season he has finished second to Kenseth. Kahne said he was disappointed not to have won the race, especially since “I had a better car,” but he couldn't figure out how to get by the eventual race winner.
“I thought Matt did a good job of just running as hard as he could close to the wall, which helped him,” said Kahne. “I thought we had the best car the last 200 laps. We were right on strategy, and I just couldn't clear him.”
Juan Pablo Montoya finished the Irwin Tools Night Race in third place and he too thought he had a car capable of driving away with the win. He managed to overcome a penalty for breaking the pit-lane speed limit, but even that was a blessing.
“The car had good speed,” said Montoya, adding he was even faster than he should have been in spots. “I got caught speeding there with like 170 to go and that kind of hurt us. But, I'll tell you the truth, I think it helped us because we probably would have run out of gas.”
Clint Bowyer made huge strides in the Sprint Cup standings. His 14th-place finish pulled him with 18 points of Jimmie Johnson. The series leader ran into the back of a wrecked car on Lap 359 and, despite furious work by his team mechanics, he was forced to retire from the race after 440 laps. It was also a disappointing night for Carl Edwards, who only completed 379 laps before a blown engine brought his night to an end. Edwards remains in third place in the drivers' standings.
There are only two races remaining in the 2013 season, in Atlanta and Richmond, before it is decided which 12 drivers will be part of this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup. Only Johnson, Bowyer and Kenseth are guaranteed spots in the 10-race shootout for the NASCAR drivers' championship.
NASCAR nation stays under the lights for the next Sprint Cup Series event, this time at the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Advocare 500, on Sept. 1, 2013.
More about Nascar, Sprint cup series, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Juan pablo montoya
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