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March 22, 2013

Kahne outlasts Bristol Field; Logano, Hamlin tension

Kasey Kahne took the checkered flag on the half-mile oval in Briston, TN last weekend. Kahne would outlast a battle with Brad Keslelowski over the final 100 laps to take the win, after a second place finish a week ago in Las Vegas. The race had its usual share of drama and hurt feelings, as Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano got into an altercation after the race, in which Logano had to be restrained by his pit crew.

Keselowski took the lead on lap 397, when all others pitted. He stayed on the track and would lead the field to the green, and battle Kahne for over 40 laps. Keselowski’s car was slower than Kahnes, however he was able to continually make the right blocking move to keep Kahne at bay. Finally on lap 446 of 500, Kahne was able to shoot to the outside and get by Keselowski. Two laps later, lapped traffic got in the way, and Keselowski returned to the lead. Kahne almost spun his car and fell back into the clutches of hard charging Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, who led the race early and looked like the car to beat, till getting sent to the back of the field on a speeding penalty.

A blown tire, ended Jimmy Johnson days and brought out the final caution, with the restart with just 39 laps to go. Keselowski got a pour jump on the green, which sent Kahne into the lead for good and would coast to his first victory of the season and 15th career win. Keselowski would get caught late by Kyle Busch and finish third. Rounding out the top five, would be Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer.

After the race, Logano who was spun by Hamlin on lap 390, got out of his car and went over to Hamlins before Hamlin had a chance to get out. Crews pulled Logano away from the car. The two, former Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, have exchanged words back and forth on twitter since the first race of the season in Daytona.

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