Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth came up one spot short Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, finishing runner-up to winner Kasey Kahne in the Oral-B USA 500. Kenseth’s JGR teammate Denny Hamlin crossed the line in third, while Kyle Busch came home 16th.
Kenseth, who started fifth in the No. 20 Home Depot/Husky Tools Toyota Camry, led five times for 53 laps, while Hamlin led six times for 37 laps in the No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota after starting 17th. Busch, in the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota, started from the eighth position and failed to lead a lap.
Busch, who has had a few rough weekends lately, continued the string of problems when he got into Tony Stewart on Lap 123, damaging both cars. Busch’s team was able to make repairs and get him back on track, but an on-track incident between Busch and Martin Truex Jr. on Lap 324, just before the white flag was ready to fly, set up the first attempt at green-white-checkers – it also caused some post-race tension between Truex Jr., Busch and Busch’s crew chief Dave Rogers.
“Martin and Kyle have always raced each other kind of hard,” said Rogers on NASCAR.com. “It’s typically clean racing, but it’s definitely hard racing. Two sides to every story here. Kyle said that he was expecting Martin to go to the bottom; Kyle was trying to dive bomb the top and get a run on him there in the closing laps. Then Martin went up high, Kyle got on the brakes and just couldn’t get it slowed and got in the back of him.”
Kasey Kahne won the Oral-B USA 500, with Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards rounding out the top five.
Busch finished fourth in the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry Saturday night in the Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta, which was dominated by winner Kevin Harvick, who led the final 159 laps of the race; Busch started third in the race. Elliott Sadler finished 10th in the No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota from his fifth-place starting position, while Kenseth started sixth and finished 11th in the No. 20 SunEnergy 1 Toyota.
Former JGR driver Joey Logano finished second, followed by Kyle Larson in third. Rookie Chase Elliott finished fifth.
The Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series get back on track next weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Keep up with the action at joegibbsracing.com.
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