Kasey Kahne Takes Victory at New Hampshire
Kasey Kahne took the checkered flag in the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at New Hampshire Speedway on the weekend, his second victory in this Sprint Cup season. While conceding that the miscommunication between driver Denny Hamlin and Darian Grubb in the pits helped him to victory, Kahne was reported as remarking “I’ll take ‘em any way we can”. While the bungle in the Hamlin camp may have changed Kahne’s second place to a victory, Kahne was right up there with the top four throughout the race.
The miscommunication between Hamlin and Grubb will no doubt serve as a reminder that anything can happen in this fast-paced sport. Despite the time lost in the pits where four tires were replaced instead of two, Hamlin returned to the race in 13th place and fought his way to the front, making it to second place before the race ended with Hamlin just 2.738 second seconds behind Kahne. Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Brad Keselowski took 3rd, 4th and 5th position respectively.
Kyle Busch took and held the lead for the first 66 laps of the race, but a drive-through penalty for entering the pit road too fast, and a delay in the pits where his crew encountered a problem with one of the car’s tires, resulted in a 16th place finish. Kahne’s victory puts him in a more favorable position to qualify for the Chase – where the top ten drivers in the point standings compete against one another for the last ten races of the season. Two addition spots, ‘wild cards’, are given to the drivers with the most wins ranking 11th to 20th in points.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings are:
1. Matt Kenseth – #17 Ford – 707 points
2. Dale Earnhardt JR – #88 Chevrolet – 691 point
3. Greg Biffle – #16 Ford – 667 points
4. Jimmie Johnson – #48 Chevrolet – 656 points
5. Denny Hamlin – #11 Toyota – 628 points
6. Kevin Harvick – #29 Chevrolet – 622 points
7. Tony Stewart – #14 Chevrolet – 618 points
8. Martin Truex Jr. – #56 Toyota – 614 points
9. Clint Bowyer – #15 Toyota – 614 points
10. Brad Keselowski – #2 Dodge – 613 points