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Kenseth snaps lengthy winless streak at Texas



Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) - Matt Kenseth put an end to his 76-race winless streak in the Sprint Cup Series with a dominating performance in Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kenseth, the 2003 series champion, led 169 of 334 laps and crossed the finish line 8.3 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Clint Bowyer, for his 19th career win, but his first since February 2009 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA.

His first Texas win came in 2002. Since then, he had finished second four times at the fast 1.5-mile track, including one last November.

"It feels good to get back to victory lane," Kenseth said. "It's been a long time. You talk about the second place finishes here, and I got beat at the end in a lot of those races. It's great to finish second if you can't win."

Kenseth took the lead for the final time with 13 laps remaining, when Kurt Busch pitted from the top position to conclude the last round of green-flag pit stops.

Bowyer finished second, while Kenseth's Roush Fenway Racing teammates Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle placed third and fourth, respectively. Edwards was plagued with a stomach ailment, but that didn't stop him from taking over the points lead.

"I'm a little hopped up on Pepto-Bismol," Edwards jokingly said. "I hate to throw my mom under the bus, but she cooked something last night that I think wasn't too good."

Paul Menard finished fifth, followed by Marcos Ambrose, David Ragan and five- time defending series champion Jimmie Johnson. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Busch rounded out the top-10.

Earnhardt Jr.'s winless drought has now stretched to 100 races.

Edwards holds a nine-point advantage over Kyle Busch, who finished one lap behind in 16th. Kenseth and Johnson are both 13 points behind the leader.

Tony Stewart went 58 laps before making his final pit stop with 58 laps remaining. Stewart, who was trying to win the race on fuel strategy, received a pit-road speeding penalty during his last stop. He made it back to third before running out of fuel on the final lap. The two-time series champion coasted across the line in 12th.

"It took almost the whole race to crack the top-10, so to be in the position we were in there at the end, I guess is a good thing," Stewart said. "But when you're in that position and you can't capitalize, it's pretty frustrating. Speeding on pit road didn't exactly help the cause either."

Denny Hamlin, who won both races at Texas last year, finished 15th, while Kevin Harvick, the winner of the last two Sprint Cup races -- Fontana and Martinsville -- placed 20th.

The 500-mile race at Texas ran relatively incident free with the exception of a three-car crash on the backstretch shortly after the halfway point. Martin Truex Jr. got hit from behind and made contact with the outside wall. As his car slid down the track, Mark Martin plowed into him, putting both drivers into the inside wall. Regan Smith was also caught up in the incident.

"That's what you have sometimes when you race," Martin said of the accident. "We were having a tough night, and then it ended up short for us."

Truex was involved in a vicious accident with Kasey Kahne last Sunday at Martinsville. He was already sore from that incident.

"It sucks to have this happen two weeks in a row," Truex said. "We were battling for a decent finish tonight, and we sure didn't need to be wrecked."

04/10 04:53:46 ET


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