Kahne wins Bristol Busch race
With temperatures lingering just below 100 degrees all day long at Bristol Motor Speedway, the Busch Series teams hung in to put on a stellar show under the lights, ending with Kasey Kahne claiming the Food City 250 win after taking the lead from Ryan Newman with less than 10 laps remaining and holding off Jason Leffler's challenge afterwards.
"It was an awesome battle with Ryan Newman and Jason Leffler," Kahne said. "It feels great. This is always one of the tracks you want to win on. It was a battle. The track is so crazy with how many lines there are and how much racing room there is."
The first Busch Series event on Bristol's new concrete surface was a good one from start to finish with multiple racing grooves and many three-wide battles throughout the event. The most heated fell near the finish as Kahne, Newman, Leffler and David Reutimann all mixed it up with a few lapped cars peppered in.
"(I) just squeezed through," Kahne said of his race-winning pass off of Turn 2. "We were scraping Newman on one side, scraping the wall on the other side."
Newman's No. 12 Dodge cut a tire after subsequent contact with Leffler and was forced to pit. The Toyota of Leffler hung onto second but was sent spinning across the frontstretch just after taking the checkered flag because of contact from behind from Reutimann.
Kyle Busch and Scott Wimmer closed out the top five.
Busch had a strong car through the night as well, leading the way for 24 laps. Following a red flag period after an accident involving Marcos Ambrose and Robert Richardson on Lap 173, multiple cars decided to pit once the field resumed under caution laps. Busch opted to stay on the track, but NASCAR penalized Busch for a pit commitment-line violation. Rather than taking the restart from fourth; he fell back to nearly 30th.
NASCAR however, later admitted its error, but it was too late to be corrected. Replays showed Busch's car did not cross the commitment line to pit.
"If you ask anybody, we had the best car all day long," Busch said. "We were able to drive up through there in the end."
There were 11 caution flags through the event with nine lead changes among six different drivers.
After a string of sour runs, points leader Carl Edwards regrouped, finishing 11th.