Severed Ties: Kenseth Claims Kansas

Everyone knew to watch out when Matt Kenseth won the pole, and they had good reason to have such feeling. Kenseth, known for not qualifying well and having a dry sense of humor, told media members not to pick him to win, all stated with a small smile.

Despite the discouragement, all eyes watched as the no. 20 car fought his way into Victory Lane. It was his second win for his new team, Joe Gibbs Racing. He had the best car all day; with every restart he led, this huge jump would be a result of timed perfection. Just as Kenseth always races.

It was a moment of serendipitous proportions when Kenseth assumed the lead near the end of the race, when he had to beat rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to do so. The paint scheme, the number; it was what he drove last year before his move to JGR. He stole the prime position, passing his past like the snap of someone’s fingers.

Kenseth hasn’t let the no. 17 or his history hold him back. In what was deemed a lateral move by many is shaping up to be the best shake up for the past champion. Ties have been severed, yet his talent has not.

For the third time this season, we saw a closing-lap battle form between Kenseth and Hendrick driver Kasey Kahne. Kenseth beat him at Las Vegas, and Kahne evened the score at Bristol where the no. 20 was collected in an incident. As the cycles wound down, Kahne made small moves, closing the distance in the entrances of turns three and four, while the leader was better getting off the corners.

When there were only two laps left, the no. 5 made his move, diving below the no. 20. The momentum was lost, and Kahne ended up as the bridesmaid.

However, he isn’t just second in today’s finishing order. Due to his fantastic run, and some misfortune to Kyle Busch, Kahne has moved up to second in the points. He is 37 markers behind teammate Jimmie Johnson.

After a slick, thrilling race in the Heartland, we look to Saturday night for a short track battle at Richmond International Raceway.

Point Standings after Kansas
1. Jimmie Johnson (–)
2. Kasey Kahne (-37)
3. Brad Keselowski (-38)
4. Greg Biffle (-47)
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-48)
6. Carl Edwards (-49)
7. Kyle Busch (-54)
8. Matt Kenseth (-59)
9. Clint Bowyer (-64)
10. Paul Menard (-71)
11. Jamie McMurray (-84)
12. Kevin Harvick (-87)


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