Matt Kenseth held off a late challenge from Kasey Kahne to take his second NASCAR Sprint Cup victory of the year at Kansas Speedway.
Polesitter Kenseth dominated much of the race in his Joe Gibbs Toyota, leading 163 of the 267 laps. He was untouchable until almost half-distance, when divergent pit and tire strategies among a number of yellows jumbled the lead pack. But after the final pit stops Kenseth was back in front, with Hendrick driver Kahne now his main rival.
The two broke away from Kahne's third-placed teammate Jimmie Johnson, with Kenseth keeping Kahne arm's length until the last few laps. Traffic then allowed Kahne to close back onto Kenseth's tail, and he had some determined looks down the inside in the closing moments as Kenseth's lead looked increasingly in jeopardy. Ultimately, the 2003 champion had enough pace to rebuild a 0.151-second margin and take victory.
Johnson was a lonely third, followed by Martin Truex Jr., who had a spell in the lead mid-race in another strong run for Michael Waltrip Racing. Truex's teammate Clint Bowyer finished fifth, ahead of Brad Keselowski, whose sixth place was a remarkable result after two early pit stops with car issues and his Penske Ford shedding a few parts over the final laps. Despite such dramas Keselowski still passed Jamie McMurray late on to reach the top six. McMurray had produced a recovery drive of his own after a tap from Mark Martin at a restart dropped him from second to last.
Martin escaped that moment and a separate clout of the wall to finish ninth between Aric Almirola and Paul Menard.
Rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was in the thick of the lead fight approaching the final stint, but was caught out when a yellow came out just after he had made his last pit stop. That dropped him a lap down and he could only get back to 11th.
Kyle Busch jumped to third at the start only to spin four laps into the race. He survived unscathed that time, but a later spin sent him into the path of Joey Logano. Neither driver was hurt in the violent, near head-on, impact.
The race's other big crash featured second-row qualifier and Cup returnee Sam Hornish Jr., who collected a spinning Marcos Ambrose, with Casey Mears also getting wrapped up in the subsequent mess.
Results - 267 laps:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 2h59m51.000s
2. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet + 0.151s
3. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet + 4.025s
4. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota + 8.355s
5. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota + 10.069s
6. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford + 10.480s
7. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet + 12.602s
8. Aric Almirola Petty Ford + 13.129s
9. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota + 13.393s
10. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet + 14.016s
11. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford + 14.323s
12. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet + 15.846s
13. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet + 18.641s
14. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 19.469s
15. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet + 20.120s
16. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet + 21.011s
17. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford + 22.979s
18. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet + 24.973s
19. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford + 26.974s
20. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford + 30.313s
21. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 1 lap
22. Regan Smith Phoenix Chevrolet + 1 lap
23. David Gilliland Front Row Ford + 1 lap
24. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota + 1 lap
25. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 2 laps
26. Josh Wise Front Row Ford + 2 laps
27. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet + 3 laps
28. David Reutimann BK Toyota + 4 laps
29. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet + 4 laps
30. David Ragan Front Row Ford + 5 laps
31. Brian Vickers Joe Gibbs Toyota + 10 laps
32. David Stremme Swan Toyota + 11 laps
33. Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford + 25 laps
Casey Mears Germain Ford 216 laps
JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 210 laps
Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 209 laps
Sam Hornish Jr Penske Ford 181 laps
Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 102 laps
Joey Logano Penske Ford 102 laps
Elliott Sadler Joe Gibbs Toyota 85 laps
Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Toyota 65 laps
Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 43 laps
Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 36 laps