Matt Kenseth held off Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw to win the STP 400, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Matt Kenseth knew he had a front-running car Sunday. It was simply a matter of getting there in the STP 400, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
When a caution flag came out with several leaders on pit road and Kenseth found himself leading the pack into the pits, he had a feeling things were going his way.
Kenseth won the race off pit road after taking two tires under caution, and a No. 20 Toyota that had been strong all day slowly pulled away.
Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw cut into the lead once he moved into second, but Kenseth managed to block every move Kahne tried to make and won by 0.15 seconds at Kansas Speedway.
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Kenseth started from the pole and Kahne started 27th of 43. Kahne also was runner-up to Kenseth on March 10 in the Kobalt Tools 400 in Las Vegas.
“We were very close at the end, battling with Matt,” Kahne was quoted as saying by NASCAR Wire Service. “Felt like Vegas all over again, just kind of felt like really similar to that in how I could catch him but couldn’t really do anything once I got close. It made my car a little bit looser.”
Series points leader Jimmie Johnson finished third. Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., was 19th.
Kahne is second in the standings, 37 points behind Johnson, and Biffle is in fourth place.
The last three Sprint Cup race winners started from the pole — the first time that has happened since 1985.
“The fastest car is supposed to win, right? That’s what racing is about,” Kenseth said.
in Long Beach
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Takuma Sato became the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar Series race, as he prevailed in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Sato’s victory came in his 52nd career start.
“It was an easy win,” the 36-year-old said.
Graham Rahal finished second.
• Three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull won the Bahrain Grand Prix, easily beating Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean in a Formula One race that has been the target of rights groups and anti-government protesters in the divided nation.
“Fantastic race,” Vettel said after his 28th career F1 victory. “It was a seamless race from start to finish.”
• Matt Hagan ended a 17-month winless drought by racing to the Funny Car title at the Dollar General NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.
Other category winners were Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle).