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Kasey Kahne wins Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta

September 1, 2014
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



NASCAR RELEASE

RELATED: Complete results | Updated standings | Current Chase Grid

His Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup hopes rested chiefly on winning one of the final two regular-season races, and Kasey Kahne answered the call Sunday night.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver recovered from losing ground on a late caution that would set up two green-white-checkered finishes and blew by Matt Kenseth in a thrilling final restart to win the Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Kahne was leading when Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. wrecked just before the No. 5 could take the white flag, an event that would extend the race 10 laps passed its advertised distance.

The first attempt at a green-white-checkered didn't last long -- Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano got into each other trying to pass Paul Menard, wrecking and bringing out the yellow flag.

Kahne restarted second on the second attempt, passing Kenseth after some aggressive racing to take the checkered flag.

The win, Kahne's first this year, guarantees the driver a spot in the 16-driver Chase Grid if he attempts to qualify next week at Richmond. He is the 13th different driver to reach Victory Lane this season.

Kenseth settled for second, and he too clinched a postseason berth. Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards completed the top five by finishing third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Danica Patrick notched a career-best sixth-place finish.

In his first event back following a tragic sprint car accident, Tony Stewart finished 41st. He was fast early, but a blown right tire on Lap 173 sent his battered No. 14 Chevrolet to the garage for good.

Clint Bowyer may have been the biggest loser Sunday, at least as it relates to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field. A broken shifter forced his No. 15 Toyota to go behind the wall early, and he returned 22 laps down. His 38th-place finish took a sizeable chunk out of his points lead over fellow winless drivers -- Kahne's win didn't help matters.

The Federated Auto Parts 400, which serves as the regular-season finale, is scheduled for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (ABC) at Richmond International Raceway.



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