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NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 Results: 2012 Race Winner Is Kasey Kahne

Kasey Kahne continued his emphatic turnaround Sunday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, handily winning the Coca-Cola 600.

In his 300th NASCAR Sprint Cup start, Kahne posted his first victory of the season, his first since joining Hendrick Motorsports and the 13th of his career. Kahne beat runner-up Denny Hamlin to the finish line by 4.295 seconds.

Kyle Busch ran third, followed by Greg Biffle, Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr., as nine cars finished on the lead lap at the 1.5-mile track.

A caution on Lap 319 for debris in Turn 3 interrupted some of the best racing of the night. Before the yellow, Biffle and Kahne had swapped the lead repeatedly, with neither able to gain a clear advantage. Hamlin was in the mix, too, trailing the top two cars by less than a half-second.

Hamlin and Earnhardt stayed on the track under the caution, while the other eight lead-lap cars came to the pits on Lap 320 for two-tire and four-tire stops. After the subsequent restart on Lap 326, Kahne needed fewer than eight laps to blow past both Earnhardt and Hamlin into the lead.

On Lap 333, Kahne powered past Hamlin off Turn 2 and began to pull away. Kahne maintained an advantage of more than one second through a cycle of green-flag pit stops that began on Lap 353 when Biffle and Kyle Busch brought their cars to pit road.

That round of pit stops proved disastrous for Jimmie Johnson, who dragged a fuel can out of his pit stall and returned to pit road under green to serve a stop-and-go penalty. The miscue put Johnson a lap down and left Kahne and Hamlin to decide the race between them.

Notes: Kahne is the ninth different winner in 12 races this season . . . Greg Biffle led a race-high 204 laps . . . Danica Patrick finished 30th, five laps down, in her Charlotte debut . . . Pole-sitter Aric Almirola ran 16th, two laps down . . . Johnson finished 11th, one lap down.

Here are the full results from the 2012 Coke 600:

  1. Kasey Kahne
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Greg Biffle
  5. Brad Keselowski
  6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  7. Jeff Gordon
  8. Kevin Harvick
  9. Carl Edwards
  10. Matt Kenseth
  11. Jimmie Johnson
  12. Martin Truex Jr.
  13. Clint Bowyer
  14. Ryan Newman
  15. Paul Menard
  16. Aric Almirola
  17. Regan Smith
  18. Landon Cassill
  19. Jeff Burton
  20. Juan Pablo Montoya
  21. Jamie McMurray
  22. Casey Mears
  23. Joey Logano
  24. Trevor Bayne
  25. Tony Stewart
  26. David Gilliland
  27. Kurt Busch
  28. Bobby Labonte
  29. Travis Kvapil
  30. Danica Patrick
  31. T.J. Bell
  32. Marcos Ambrose
  33. AJ Allmendinger
  34. Mark Martin
  35. David Ragan
  36. Michael McDowell
  37. Scott Speed
  38. David Stremme
  39. Stephen Leicht
  40. Dave Blaney
  41. Joe Nemechek
  42. Cole Whitt
  43. Josh Wise