Auto racing: Kenseth gets Kansas lead, hangs onto it

2013-04-22T00:00:00Z Auto racing: Kenseth gets Kansas lead, hangs onto itThe Associated Press The Associated Press
April 22, 2013 12:00 am  • 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Matt Kenseth knew that he had a front-running car Sunday. It was just a matter of getting there.

So when a caution flag came out with several leaders on pit road, and Kenseth found himself leading the pack into the pits, he had a feeling things were going his way at Kansas Speedway.

"That was the key," he would say later.

Kenseth won the race off pit road after taking two tires under caution with 47 laps to go, and a No. 20 Toyota that had been strong all day slowly pulled away. Kasey Kahne trimmed into the lead once he moved into second, but Kenseth managed to block every move he tried to make.

Kahne pulled alongside him entering Turn 4 with the white flag flying, but Kenseth pulled back ahead along the front stretch.

"When it was in front, we knew it was really fast," Kenseth said after his second straight win at Kansas. "And if we could get out there first, we'd be tough to beat."

It was the third straight win from the pole in the Sprint Cup series.

Jimmie Johnson did it two weeks ago at Martinsville, and Kyle Busch did the same last weekend at Texas.

Points leader Johnson finished third with a car that kept getting better during long, green flag runs. Martin Truex Jr. came home fourth and Clint Bowyer was fifth.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spent most of the afternoon running at the front, with Kenseth chasing the No. 17 Ford that he drove to victory last year at the newly resurfaced Kansas Speedway.

Stenhouse was among several leading drivers, including Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle, who were forced to pit under green with about 50 laps to go. They were just getting back onto the track when the rear-bumper on Brad Keselowski's car that had been hanging on by a thread finally came loose.

The metal chattered across the track and brought out a caution.

Kenseth beat Truex in the race off pit road.

IndyCar

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Takuma Sato became the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar race on Sunday in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The win came in Sato's 52nd career start, and the first for A.J. Foyt Racing since Airton Dare won Kansas in 2002.

Formula One

SAKHIR, Bahrain - Three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix Sunday, easily beating Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.

The race has been the target of rights groups that contend it glosses over the country's political problems while anti-government protesters intensified their demonstrations against the Sunni-led government.

NHRA

CONCORD, N.C. - Matt Hagan ended a 17-month winless drought by racing to the Funny Car victory Sunday at the Dollar General NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway.

Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners of the only NHRA competition that features cars abreast in four lanes.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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