LOUDON, N.H. — Matt Kenseth made it 2 for 2 in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, holding off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch to win Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Kenseth followed his win in the Chase opener at Chicagoland with his series-high seventh victory of the season. Kenseth made his 500th career start and built a 14-point lead over Busch before the series shifts to Dover.
Kenseth had just one win the first time he won the championship, in pre-Chase 2003. He will take a title any way he can.
“If you’re fortunate enough to win a championship, or another championship, I don’t think there’s a bad way to win it,” he said.
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Kenseth joins Greg Biffle (2008) of Vancouver, Wash., and Tony Stewart (2011) as the only drivers to win the first two Chase races. Stewart went on to win the title.
Chase drivers filled six of the top 10 spots. Biffle was third and Jimmie Johnson fourth. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was sixth and Carl Edwards ninth. Jamie McMurray was the highest non-Chase finisher in fifth place.
Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw slammed the inside wall with 48 laps left and finished 37th. He plummeted to last in the 13-driver Chase field.
JGR in the past has dominated the regular season but dropped off considerably once the Chase began. Now the team has a credible 1-2 threat to give Toyota its first Sprint Cup title.
• Doug Kalitta ended a 71-race winless drought with a Top Fuel victory in the NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis. Other winners were Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle).
• Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany recorded yet another start-to-finish win at the Singapore Grand Prix to further extend his lead in the Formula One championship.