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Kenseth steals victory at Dover

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Sunday, May 15, 2011

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Matt Kenseth celebrates
Jim Garrahan/AR1.com
Matt Kenseth came late to the party -- and took home the prize.

A two-tire call late in Sunday's FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway put Kenseth on the front row for a restart on Lap 367 of 400, and that was all Kenseth needed to secure his second Sprint Cup victory of the season and the 20th of his career.

In short order, Kenseth dispatched Mark Martin, who had stayed out on old tires, and maintained a comfortable lead to the finish, as those who had taken four tires under caution on Lap 363 could make little headway against those with inferior rubber. Kenseth led the final 32 laps.

Martin ran second, followed by Marcos Ambrose, Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers, as the mixture of tire strategies squelched what had been a heated battle between Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards -- and later, Clint Bowyer.

Bowyer came home sixth, Edwards seventh, Martin Truex Jr. eighth and Johnson ninth. Kevin Harvick completed the top 10.

Johnson dominated the early stages of the race, leading 135 of the first 142 laps before Edwards passed him for the top spot through Turns 3 and 4 on Lap 143. Johnson beat Edwards off pit road on Lap 165, under caution for a brief rain shower, and regained the lead a lap later, when front-row starter AJ Allmendinger, who had stayed out to lead a lap, took his car to the garage with a blown engine.

Johnson remained out front until Lap 189, when Edwards overtook him again. Edwards was first off pit road for a restart on Lap 223, after NASCAR called the fourth caution of the race on Lap 216 because of debris in Turn 3.

The drivers swapped positions once more during a cycle of green-flag pit stops, with Johnson passing Juan Montoya for the lead on Lap 288. Montoya, who was off sequence on pit stops, had stayed on the track while the rest of the lead-lap cars came to pit road under green.

Johnson had a 1.5-second lead after the exchange of pit stops, but Edwards chopped that down to nothing by Lap 313, when he passed for the lead, albeit briefly. Johnson regained the top spot on Lap 314 and held it under extreme pressure from Edwards and Bowyer until Kasey Kahne's engine failure on Lap 332 caused the fifth caution of the race.

Excellent pit work got Bowyer out in front for a restart on Lap 338, and he held the lead -- with Edwards gaining ground -- until Juan Pablo Montoya's spin in Turn 3 brought out the sixth caution on Lap 362.

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 24 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Wiley X Sunglasses 47/1 400 Running
2 25 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 43/1 400 Running
3 18 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Dewalt 41/0 400 Running
4 7 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 40/0 400 Running
5 15 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 39/0 400 Running
6 22 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet BB&T 39/1 400 Running
7 13 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 38/1 400 Running
8 8 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 37/1 400 Running
9 1 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 37/2 400 Running
10 10 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser 34/0 400 Running
11 16 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 33/0 400 Running
12 3 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Amp Energy Sugar Free / National Guard 33/1 400 Running
13 9 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 31/0 400 Running
14 6 22 Kurt Busch Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 30/0 400 Running
15 17 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 29/0 400 Running
16 26 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground / AutismSpeaks .org 28/0 400 Running
17 21 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 27/0 400 Running
18 23 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Kingsford / Bush's Beans 26/0 400 Running
19 12 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 25/0 400 Running
20 31 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 24/0 398 Running
21 28 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Haas Automation 23/0 398 Running
22 29 34 David Gilliland Ford Taco Bell 22/0 398 Running
23 30 13 Casey Mears Toyota GEICO 21/0 397 Running
24 20 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet CertainTeed / Menards 20/0 396 Running
25 33 32 Mike Bliss Ford U.S. Chrome 0 396 Running
26 35 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Golden Corral 18/0 396 Running
27 5 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 17/0 395 Running
28 14 6 David Ragan Ford UPS "We Love Logistics" 16/0 395 Running
29 27 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Mobil 1 / Office Depot 15/0 394 Running
30 32 09 Landon Cassill Chevrolet Thank A Teacher Today / Security Benefit 0 394 Running
31 41 38 Travis Kvapil Ford A&W All American Food 0 394 Running
32 19 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 13/1 393 Running
33 37 71 Andy Lally * Ford Interstate Moving Services 11/0 389 Running
34 11 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row Companies 10/0 361 Running
35 43 37 Tony Raines Ford Front Row Motorsports 9/0 341 In Pit
36 4 4 Kasey Kahne Toyota Red Bull 8/0 331 Out of Race
37 2 43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford Best Buy 8/1 166 Out of Race
38 34 7 Scott Wimmer Dodge Fast Five / Speed Energy 0 77 In Pit
39 42 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota NEMCO Motorsports 0 55 Out of Race
40 38 46 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Red Line Oil 4/0 51 In Pit
41 39 60 Mike Skinner Toyota Big Red 0 51 In Pit
42 40 30 David Stremme Chevrolet Inception Motorsports 2/0 47 In Pit
43 36 66 Michael McDowell Toyota HP Racing LLC 2/1 45 Out of Race

* Denotes Rookie

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