Lady luck was on Matt Kenseth’s side at Las Vegas on Sunday, giving him a birthday gift that will help in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings.
Capturing his first win of the season with a new team, Kenseth got his first win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Kobalt Tools 400. He took the checkered flag while leading 42 laps and keeping the lead when it mattered the most. He kept the lead despite a late charge from Kasey Kahne, who dominated for most of the race for 114 laps.
Kahne’s dominant performance all afternoon earned him a second place finish despite racing Kenseth for the lead. Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards round out the top five.
Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard closed out the top ten at Las Vegas.
The third race of the race might have given Kenseth a birthday gift that lifts him within the standings and a spot in the All Star race, but for other drivers, the day was full of trouble.
Throughout the race, many drivers were penalized for mistakes on pit road like being too fast entering or exiting, too many men over the wall or tires going all over the place in pit road. Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Greg Biffle were just a few to receive penalties, although some were not able to recover until late.
For other drivers such as Clint Bowyer, Danica Patrick and Jeff Gordon, luck was not on their side at Las Vegas. Bowyer, who began the day in second, fell behind soon after the green flag and was unable to recover.
Leaving Las Vegas, Johnson remains as the leader in the point standings followed by current champion Keselowski. Both drivers have been consistent since the start of the season as well as Earnhardt and Edwards after his win at Phoenix.