Kasey Kahne thought he’d be able to get around Matt Kenseth when it counted—and why not?
After all, Kahne led a race-high 114 laps on Sunday and earlier in the race had made short work of the strong cars of Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson when he caught them in traffic.
Kahne had taken right-side tires on Lap 226, while Kenseth opted for track position and took fuel only, beating the other lead-lap cars out of pits. With fresher rubber, Kahne was convinced he’d pass Kenseth eventually, but it didn’t happen, and Kenseth celebrated his 41st birthday with a race win.
“I just felt like I could have got there, the way the car handled throughout the race and how I could turn down in the center of the corner and carry a ton of speed doing it,” Kahne said. “I felt really confident, that when I got to him I'd be able to do that again like I had raced with Kyle and Jimmie earlier in the race.
“And when I got to Matt, I couldn't do it, so I was trying to brake in and mess with anything that I could, lift early, lift late, try it all, and just couldn't find a way past him. He just did a really good job of keeping his momentum up, keeping his speed. He was cutting across me off the corner. He just put up a great battle and pulled it off on told tires.”