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Matt Kenseth wins wild Hollywood Casino 400

Matt Kenseth overcame a brush with the wall to win a wild Hollywood Casino 400 at the Kansas Speedway. The race was slowed by a track and season-record 14 cautions. Brad Keselowski finished eighth and maintains a seven-point lead.

Ed Zurga

Matt Kenseth was one of several drivers wrapped up in NASCAR's version of the Twilight Zone during the mid-stages of the Hollywood Casino 400. Aric Almirola, trying to pass Mark Martin on a restart, spun off the turn two and Kenseth brushed the wall in the jam-up.

Despite scrubbing up the side of his Roush-Fenway Racing Ford, Kenseth got back to the front on a restart at lap 222 and led the rest of the way to win at Kansas Speedway. It is Kenseth's third win of the 2012 season and the 24th of his career. The former Sprint Cup champion is leaving the Roush-Fenway Racing team with which has built his future Hall-of-Fame resume at the conclusion of this season, and the Wisconsinite was very emotional as he was interviewed by ESPN's Jerry Punch in victory lane.

Martin Truex Jr. swept the runner-up spots at Kansas in 2012, finishing second in April's STP 400 and again Sunday. Paul Menard backed up a dominant run in yesterday's Nationwide race with a terrific third-place finish - his first top-five of 2012. Polesitter Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart rounded out the top-five.

Clint Bowyer came home sixth and will have to wait till next April for another shot at the home-track victory he covets. Regan Smith finished seventh in his second and likely final start in the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is expected to be cleared for competition this week and then return to the seat at Martinsville.

Brad Keselowski finished eighth, one spot ahead of championship rival Jimmie Johnson. Jeff Gordon completed the top-10.

Keselowski and Johnson effectively battled to a draw Sunday, maintaining the seven-point gap they entered the race with. Johnson's run was wildly impressive considering that he backed his Chevrolet into the wall just past the midpoint of the race and was originally called to the garage area. Crew chief Chad Knaus chose instead for the team to attempt to repair the car on pit road, which they did, and Johnson was able to work his way back to a top-10 finish and avoid losing any ground at all in the title fight.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.