FORT WORTH, Texas — Matt Kenseth made the save first, then he picked up the victory.
That might sound a little backward for baseball fans, but it made perfect sense Saturday in the O’Reilly 300 Busch Series race.
Kenseth ended Carl Edwards’ two-race Busch winning streak by pulling his car out of a spin without hitting the wall early in the race, then overtaking Denny Hamlin with nine laps left.
Hamlin’s frantic efforts to pass over the final five laps failed in the closest margin for a Busch race in Texas at 0.128 seconds. Edwards finished third.
Kenseth, who ran second when a tire popped and caused the spin on Lap 55, got his second Busch win of the season and his 10th top 10 in 12 Texas races. He chose to lock up the wheels to stay off the wall.
“I didn’t really save it. We still spun out,” Kenseth said. “I knew I’d have all flat tires and lose a lap going to the pits. I just tried to keep it in the middle of the track and stop.”
Hamlin and Casey Mears battled for the lead after a wreck during a green-flag pit stop scrambled the field about 125 laps into the 200-lap race. The fourth of seven cautions straightened things out 15 laps later, getting Kenseth back on the lead lap and Edwards back in contention.
Edwards didn’t win, but he kept a stranglehold on the Busch points standings. He has 1,370 points through seven races, and a 403-point lead over Dave Blaney. Edwards has almost 100 points more than Kevin Harvick did at the same point last year, when Harvick clinched the Busch title with five weeks to go.