KASEY KAHNE WINS ORAL-B USA 500 NASCAR SPRINT CUP RACE

KASEY KAHNE WINS ORAL-B USA 500 NASCAR SPRINT CUP RACE

1ST-PIC-INSIDEStory courtesy of AMS, all photos by MSA Staff.

See our September issue for Phil Prichard’s story!

It took 325 regularly scheduled laps and two attempts at a green-white-checkered finish, but when all of the late-race drama was over, Kasey Kahne was left celebrating in Victory Lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway with the Oral-B USA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy.

Tony received a standing ovation
Tony received a standing ovation

The win was huge for Kahne, who not only earned his first win in a season that boasted only two previous top-5 finishes – he also cemented a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

“It was just an unbelievable way to make the Chase, and to win at Atlanta – it’s a tough track, a track that I love going to,” Kahne said of his third win at the fast 1.54-mile quad-oval.

Kahne was leading in the final laps when Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. tangled, bringing out the caution and setting up the first green-white-checkered attempt. All of the leaders pitted for tires, but Matt Kenseth and Paul Menard opted for just two while the rest picked up four, leaving Kenseth and Menard out front when the field restarted.

The Ninja Turtles were everywhere
The Ninja Turtles were everywhere!

A slow restart by Menard held up Kevin Harvick, who had dominated much of the race, damaging both cars and starting a chain reaction to immediately bring the caution back out.

With Menard and Harvick out of the mix, Kenseth restarted inside the front row on worn right-side tires, while Hamlin flanked him and Kahne stalked him from behind.

When the green flag fell for the final time, Kahne charged straight up the middle, easily getting past Hamlin and setting up a lap-long duel with Kenseth. But the time the duo came back to the white flag, though, Kahne was in command.

The front row
The front row.

“I had a really good restart the first time; I was kind of hoping it went green there,” Kenseth said. “The second one wasn’t as good. I just spun the left rear a little bit and (Kahne) got up the middle there. I was able to get through one and two wide open and almost wide open through (three and four). I had him cleared, somehow he had enough momentum to get back up alongside of me.. We did all we could.”

Hamlin finished the race third without feeling like he left anything on the table.

Early 3-wide
Early 3-wide.

“We couldn’t get the restarts,” Hamlin said. “I couldn’t accelerate like I needed to keep (Kahne) behind me.”

Racing action returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway next March for a great weekend of NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series races. Tickets can be reserved by calling at (877) 9-AMS-TIX or by visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.

3-wide racin at its best!
3-wide racin at its best!

 

Harvick made a pit stop.
Harvick made a pit stop.

 

Here's some tight racin' for ya!
Here’s some tight racin’ for ya!

 

Kasey got the big toothbrush.
Kasey got the big toothbrush.

 

Denny Hamlin finished 3rd behind Matt who clinched his spot in The Chase.
Denny Hamlin finished 3rd behind Matt who clinched his spot in The Chase.

 

Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark congratulates Kasey.
Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark congratulates Kasey.

 

The Hedricks crew.
The Hedricks crew.

 

An MSA fan with the King. He must have won a t-shirt at one of our events...
An MSA fan with the King. He must have won a t-shirt at one of our events…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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