Kasey Kahne drove to victory at the 53rd Annual Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, after leading 109 laps of the 500 lap race. This is Kahne’s 15th victory in 328 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, his first win at Bristol.
As Kahne came around on the final lap to collect the checkered flag, nobody was able to challenge him, as he took his #5 Great Clips Chevrolet to the finish with a win by 1.7 seconds over second place finisher Kyle Busch. Hendrick Motorsports have now won two of the first four races this season.
“Such a tough track over the years,” Kahne said. “My first time here in 2002 was just something I couldn’t believe the way that you drove, as hard as you drove here, the way things happen so quickly… Bristol’s one of those tracks that as a driver you really feel like you need to win at, you want to win at. There’s so many things that are thrown at you when you come to this place. It feels really good to win at Bristol Motor Speedway!”
Kyle Busch was able to snatch second from Brad Keselowski, who took over the Sprint Cup Series points lead and as the only driver to open the season with four top-five finishes.
When asked about the final restart Keselowski said, “ Yeah, I mean, I haven’t seen the replay. I just know my rear tires were off the ground before I got to the restart zone. Eventually I got hit so hard it pushed my foot in the gas pedal. Made myself look like an ass. That was the deal. Never had another chance.”
Keselowski was lined up first for the restart with Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano behind him, the two had been bumpin’ and bangin’ on each other all day but in the closing laps, that feud between the former teammates could have been what cost Keselowski a win.
As their tempers flared on the tracks, it was not to be contained after the race as Logano leaned inside the car window of Hamlin, to complain about Hamlin spinning him out during the race. At the time the incident incurred Logano was racing Jeff Gordon for the lead.
Logano was pulled away from Hamlin’s car by crew members for both drivers, in throw back to the classic rock’em, sock’em races at Bristol, which riveted the crowd, causing an exuberant Clint Bowyer to shout, “They’re fighting! It’s Bristol!” while watching the action unfold on the infield big screen.
Logano wouldn’t discuss what he told Hamlin, but then said “That’s a freaking genius behind the wheel of the 11 car… probably the worst teammate I’ve ever had. I have a scorecard and I’m not putting up with that. What goes around comes around. I had to put up with him for years, so whatever.”
Hamlin shrugged it all off, when asked what Logano said to him. “He said he was coming for me,” Hamlin said. “I usually don’t see him, so it’s usually not a factor.”
After the season-opener the Daytona 500, Hamlin complained Logano ruined the closing laps of the race, the two drivers briefly squabbled on Twitter, Hamlin insist this was not a carryover.
Kurt Busch finished fourth and was followed by Clint Bowyer and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The next race is Sunday, March 24, 2013 the Auto Club 400 in Fontana, California on Fox at 3 p.m. eastern time.