We've seen this script before: Matt Kenseth holding off Kasey Kahne in the closing laps of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. It happened in Las Vegas in March. It happened in Kansas in April. It happened again in Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
On fading tires and with a fuel tank that was bordering on empty, Kenseth won a heated battle against Kahne to claim victory in Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, after Kahne moved into the second position on Lap 473 of 500. The victory was Kenseth's fifth of the year, and it guaranteed the driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at least a wild card spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The victory was Kenseth's third at Bristol and the 29th of his career.
Juan Pablo Montoya finished third, followed by Brian Vickers and Joey Logano.
Kenseth led the field to green for a restart after a wreck in Turn 1 involving Montoya, David Stremme and Jeff Burton caused the ninth caution of the evening. By Lap 430, Kenseth had opened a lead of more than one second over Gordon.
Caution for debris on the frontstretch slowed the field for the 10th time on Lap 439. Kenseth and Gordon, both saving fuel, brought the field to green on Lap 447, but before the cars could complete the circuit, contact between the cars of Brian Vickers and Denny Hamlin ignited a massive wreck in Turns 3 and 4 that dealt serious blows to the Chase hopes of Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski.
After a red flag for debris cleanup that lasted four minutes, 27 seconds, Montoya surged from fourth to second on the Lap 454 restart and took off in pursuit of Kenseth, With a full load of fuel and fresh tires, however, Kahne slipped past Montoya for second on Lap 473. Kahne quickly caught Kenseth and waged an intensely competitive battle over the closing laps before coming up just short.