Matt Kenseth led Joe Gibbs Racing with a third-place finish in tonight’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch joined his teammate in the top-ten with a strong ninth-place run, while an unscheduled pit stop resulted in Denny Hamlin losing a lap to the leaders that he could never recover resulting in a 22nd place finish.
Kenseth started his No. 20 Home Depot/Husky Toyota 12th and was able to move into the top ten over the course of the opening green flag run and his team provided an outstanding stop that allowed him to move all the way into fourth following the opening round of pit stops on lap 51. He would drop back to eighth over the course of the next green run but his pit crew delivered again and he was back in fifth on lap 100. A caution on lap 108 would bring Kenseth back down pit road for four fresh tires and he would restart fourth on lap 113. He continued to hold the fourth spot when a caution came out on lap 163. When the race reached halfway Kenseth found himself in eighth and The Home Depot crew would make adjustments on the next round of pit stops to help him turn better in the corners. Kenseth restarted 11th on lap 227 but used a tremendous restart to jump to fourth and was running third on lap 250. He would take his first lead of the night on lap 271 and continued to hold the top spot on lap 300. Kenseth would lead a total of four times for 33 laps on this night. He would use a tremendous restart on lap 384 to regain the lead, but Jimmie Johnson was able to reel in the 20 car and make the pass with eight to go. Kenseth would go on to finish third.