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NASCAR Las Vegas 2016: Wreck knocks out Matt Kenseth, Chase Elliott

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Strong runs by Matt Kenseth and Chase Elliott were negated when they collided late in Sunday’s race.

Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Matt Kenseth's tough start to the season continued Sunday when he spun and was collected in a multi-car crash in the waning laps of the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Running fifth and in a pack of cars just after a restart on Lap 225 of 267, Kenseth lost control and slid up the track when Ryan Blaney maneuvered behind him, presumably taking the air off Kenseth's rear spoiler.

Kenseth avoided spinning, but righted his car directly in the path of Chase Elliott, who plowed into the rear of Kenseh's No. 20 Toyota then clipped Carl Edwards. Pole-sitter Kurt Busch was involved.

The cars of Kenseth and Elliott sustained significant damage and retired from the Kobalt 400. Both Busch and Edwards continued on, finishing ninth and 18th, respectively.

For Kenseth, Las Vegas represented the third straight race he had a fast car but not a corresponding result. He was leading on the final lap of the season-opening Daytona 500 when he failed to block a charging Denny Hamlin and fell to 14th. Last week, Kenseth incurred two penalties that knocked him out of the lead and left him two laps behind at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

"I have no idea, honestly," Kenseth said of Sunday's wreck. "I went into Turn 1, and I wasn't really hardly turning yet and just spun out before I had any idea what happened. After that, I was just trying to save our (car) and got ran into from behind."

Elliott took responsibility for running into the prone Kenseth. The 20-year-old rookie also crashed-out at Daytona, but rebounded with a career-best eighth at Atlanta. He was running solidly inside the top 10 before the crash.

"Just a terrible job on my behalf," Elliott said. "That is pitiful. We have run three races and finished one. Just a bad job on my end. I ought to know better to miss a wreck like that."