Matt Kenseth celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 10, 2013. Photo taken by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
Happy Birthday, Matt Kenseth!
Matt Kenseth, who opted for fuel only on the last pit stop, was able to hold off a charging Kasey Kahne to win Sunday afternoon’s Kobalt Tools 400 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Kenseth, who turned 41 on Sunday, became the third driver in series history to win on his birthday. Cale Yarborough did it twice, in 1977 at North Wilkesboro and 1983 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, followed by Kyle Busch who did it in 2009 at Richmond International Raceway.
The win was also his first Sprint Cup victory in a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, after spending 15 years with Roush-Fenway Racing.
”I was real nervous all day,” Kenseth said. ”(Kahne) had the best car. I told (crew chief) Jason (Ratcliff) with about 12 to go that I was sorry we were going to lose. We were just too tight. … We didn’t have the fastest car there, but we had it where we needed it to be.”
Kahne led a season high 114 laps on Sunday afternoon.
Kahne’s Hendrick Motorsports teammates, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had strong performances, while Jeff Gordon struggled with the car as he complained it was loose much of the day. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next head to Bristol Tennessee for next Sunday’s Food City 500.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Bristol and the World’s Toughest Half Mile next Sunday afternoon. Time to get ready for some beating and banging!