DARLINGTON, S.C. (WMBF) - Kyle Busch jumped out to the lead and stayed in front for 265 laps of the 2013 Bojangles Southern 500, but after suffering a flat tire from a scrape with Kasey Kahne in the home stretch, Matt Kenseth pushed through. He was able to stay in front, picking up his first-ever win at Darlington Raceway.
"We were in the right place at the right time," said Kenseth. "Kyle got a little tired at the end, and had a tire go flat, and we're in the right place to be able to take advantage of that, so that was our best run of the night. We were pretty fast at that last run. And like I said it came at the right time."
Kenseth continued, "Kyle was the class of the field all night, and if you're going to have to win, you're going to have to go through him, so he was going to be tough to beat."
In his first full race back from suffering a back injury in March, Denny Hamlin rolled to a second place finish at the Track Too Tough to Tame.
"Honestly, coming into it, I thought we could win," Hamlin said. "I thought we had a winning car, but we just didn't throughout the day. We worked on it, got it better here and there but never had what it took to run with the 18, the 48 and those guys, so we overcame those guys on pit lane, I made up some spots on the racetrack, and really it's just a great day by all of our Sportclip team."
Jeff Gordon, starting in his 700th consecutive race, took third. He now is tied for 15th all-time in race starts.
"Well I got fortunate," Gordon said. "One time I got unfortunate because we stayed out and some guys got tires and we lost a couple positions, but then luckily the caution came back out and I got some good position, and the car was good with fresh tires until the end."
After Kenseth and Joe Gibbs Racing had severe fines and penalties reduced by NASCAR earlier this week from failing a post-race inspection at Kansas, Kenseth follows it up with his third victory of the 2013 season. It is his 27th Sprint Cup career win.