UPS Game-Changing Moments: New Hampshire
September 22, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
KENSETH SETS FAST CHASE PACE WITH BACK-TO-BACK WINS
For the second straight week, in the second race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Matt Kenseth led Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch to the finish line.
The top seed in the Chase, Kenseth won Sunday's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as JGR asserted its superiority for the second consecutive week. With 93 laps to go, Kenseth bumped Clint Bowyer on the backstretch to take the top spot for good.
Kenseth led a race-high 106 laps in winning for the seventh time this season, for the first time at the Magic Mile and for the 31st time in his career. Winning in his 500th start in the Cup series, Kenseth extended his Chase lead to 14 points over Busch.
“They just had a special car,” Busch said. “Sometimes you unload with them, and they're just phenomenal. The 20 had that here this weekend. We tried everything to try to keep up with him and to get pace with him, but it was tough to do.”
AGGRESSIVE BIFFLE MOVES FROM 11th TO FIFTH IN CHASE
Greg Biffle drove from sixth to third after the final restart on Lap 258 of 300. Five-time champion Jimmie Johnson finished fourth, followed by Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“I was doing all I could do to try and gain spots, and I was three wide on the bottom and got that to work a couple times, and then the last bit of that, the outside really worked well for me,” Biffle said.
“It's so hard to get a run off the bottom. The 48 was underneath me, and he just couldn't get the throttle down on the bottom. The 48 was probably faster than me that first 15 laps. He was all over my rear bumper but couldn't really do anything, and then I was able to ‑‑ after his tires leveled off I was able to drive away from him.”
KAHNE CRASH DROPS HIM TO LAST IN THE CHASE
Kasey Kahne saw his Chase hopes dim when he spun on the frontstretch on Lap 252 and nosed into the inside wall. Kahne came home 37th. At the time of Kahne’s trouble, he was battling Brian Vickers, the July winner at the 1.058-mile track, who started in the rear and finished seventh.
The NASCAR Wire Service contributed to this report.