Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne had a thrilling down-to-the-wire finish Saturday Night in the Irwin Tool Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kenseth emerged victorious — giving him now five wins on the season, which leads the Sprint Cup Series — but Kahne could have surpassed him over the final twelve laps had he (Kahne) chosen to drive more aggressively.
What’s interesting is that Kahne was hit by Kenseth earlier this year and had sworn to seek revenge. Yet Kahne defended his decision to take second on Saturday night, saying he’d rather retain his reputation as a clean driver than get the win:
I think at the end of the day, I just don’t wreck people.
I would have wrecked probably both of us. I just tried to pass him as clean as I could and race him as hard as I could, and I thought I had him at one point, had a good run and tried to slide across, and he just kept position.
I just didn’t clear him. I just didn’t get it done. I’m upset with myself for not figuring out how to win tonight because I clearly had a better car at the end of the race (USA Today Sports).
You can watch the last few laps of the race in the video below. Kahne, in the 5 car, could have easily spun out Kenseth at almost any point. His restraint and adherence to good sportsmanship, however, is definitely admirable.
[Source: USA Today Sports]