Kasey Kahne’s a winner once again. This time, it’s at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Kahne’s previous best finish at Bristol was second in the 2007 Sharpie 500, but that’s history now.
Kahne led 109 laps during the Food City 500 before he captured his 15th career checkered flag in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and his third for Hendrick Motorsports. Kahne fought hard throughout the day, but had one of the fastest cars for the majority of the day.
Denny Hamlin led the most laps at Bristol on Sunday, but his day wasn’t what he probably wanted. Hamlin’s dominance lasted for only 117 laps. He slightly got into Joey Logano, his former teammate, and spun Logano out, causing severe rear-end damage to the No. 22 Ford. However, even though Logano wrecked, he was able to rebound and run competitively inside of the top-10 until he eventually fell back and finished 17th. Hamlin fell back at the end of the race as he hit the wall, finishing in 23rd.
After the race, Logano stormed over to Hamlin’s car as the two exchanged a few words. Logano shoved his head into Hamlin’s car, but was pulled out by Hamlin’s pit crew members. It turned into a minor brawl and was quickly broken up by crew members. Both drivers appeared to be very angry with each other as a new rivalry is soaring inside of the garage area.
“He said he’s coming for me, but I never see him on track,” Hamlin said.
The Food City 500 was highlighted by side-by-side racing throughout the day. Cars ran roughly two-four tenths of each other for the majority of the race which made fans rather enthusiastic. Though it’s nothing like the old Bristol, it showed that the Generation Six car can definitely put on a show at the short tracks. It also gave some smaller teams the opportunity to run inside of the top-20 which gave them the break they needed.
David Stremme finished inside of the top-2o in his Swan Racing car. Casey Mears finished 15th and ran competitively for a good part of the race. Terry Labonte made his return to Bristol and finished 25th, but was four laps down. Josh Wise also had a respectable run finishing 26th. Dave Blaney and Travis Kvapil were running inside of the top-15 before both of them experienced their own troubles causing them to end their day early.
A few championship contenders had some trouble today. Tony Stewart wrecked early in the race and went 36 laps down rather quickly. Aric Almirola blew a tire which ended his day. Jimmie Johnson hit the wall and lost the points lead because of it. The worst wreck of the day though was when Jeff Gordon blew a tire while leading on lap 390 and hit the wall rather hard. The worst damage came as Gordon hit the wall, Matt Kenseth slammed into him, ending both of their days.
It was an interesting day for Kyle Busch, who started from the pole and had one of the fastest cars early in the going. Yet, even with as good of a car as he had, Busch sped on pit road in three different segments and was penalized to restart outside of the top-30. Busch was able to work his way back to the front, but he used up his car too much and finished the day in second.
Brad Keselowski now leads the points after finishing third, his fourth top-five finish in four races this year. After finishing sixth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is second in points, just nine points behind Keselowski. Johnson, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle round out the top-five in points.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR and can be reached via e-mail at Joseph.Wolkin@gmail.com.