Kenseth makes save, gets Busch win

4-14-07 -- 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 in Texas.

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 11 laps left. Hamlin's frantic efforts to pass over the final five laps failed. Edwards finished third.

The 0.128-second margin was the closest for a Busch race in Texas.

Kenseth, who was running second when he had to pull out of the spin, got his second Busch win of the season and his 10th top 10 in 12 Texas races.

Hamlin and Casey Mears battled for the lead after a wreck during a green-flag pit stop scrambled the field about 120 laps into the 200-lap race, but a caution straightened things out, putting Kenseth and Edwards in contention.

It looked for a moment as if former Formula One star Juan Pablo Montoya might have a shot at his second Busch win. He beat everyone off pit road by taking just two tires on a caution with less than 40 laps left. But he was called back because of a missing lug nut, and he dropped further back when he scraped the wall shortly after the restart.

The day ended for Montoya, the 2000 Indy 500 winner who joined NASCAR late last season, when he tangled with Busch series rookie Marcos Ambrose on Lap 181.


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