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Irwin Tools Night Race Update: Drivers Minding Their Manners, Matt Kenseth Leads

There has been a little bit of bumping early on in the Irwin Tools Night Race at the Bristol Motor Speedway, as is typical of racing on a half-mile race track, but tempers have yet to flare. There is plenty of racing to go as the sun goes down.

Matt Kenseth has the lead after 60 laps - and after rubbing Brad Keselowski to take the top spot. The pair rubbed doors exiting the fourth turn on the first lap after a restart from a debris yellow, but both were able to hang on. Jimmie Johnson runs second, followed by Keselowski, Ryan Newman, and Regan Smith. Kurt Busch runs sixth, highest among the drivers who pitted under the first caution flag. Jeff Gordon led 29 laps before the yellow and runs 7th.

Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart are both struggling mightily in their bid to solidify their Chase hopes. Bowyer runs 29th, three spots ahead of Stewart who started 42nd. Kenseth is bearing down on both and will likely lap them both in short order without a quick caution flag.

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