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Kahne wins at Atlanta, Stewart crashes and finishes 41st

Hampton, GA (SportsNetwork.com) – Kasey Kahne clinched a spot in the Chase for
the Sprint Cup championship by winning Sunday night’s Oral-B USA 500 at
Atlanta Motor Speedway, while Tony Stewart wrecked at the halfway point and
finished 41st in his return to racing.

In a long race that featured two green-white-checkered finish attempts, Kahne
passed Matt Kenseth for the lead just before they crossed the line to complete
the penultimate lap. Kahne held off Kenseth at the finish by 0.6 seconds for
his first win of the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season.

All four drivers from Hendrick Motorsports are now in the 10-race championship
Chase, which begins in two weeks at Chicagoland. The series will conclude its
regular season next Saturday night at Richmond.

Kenseth has yet to win a race this season, but his second-place run at Atlanta
secured him a spot in the Chase due to his points ranking.

Denny Hamlin finished third, followed by Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards.

Kevin Harvick dominated most of this race by leading 195 of 335 laps, but
Harvick was involved in an accident with Paul Menard and Joey Logano following
the restart for the first two-lap overtime finish attempt. He ended up
finishing 19th one day after he won the Nationwide Series race here with a
dominating performance, leading 159 laps in that event.

Stewart, who is Harvick’s teammate and team co-owner, made his first start
since his involvement in a fatal accident during an Aug. 9 sprint car race at
a dirt track in Upstate New York. Stewart struck and killed driver Kevin Ward
Jr.

Stewart started 12th and quickly made his way into the top-six, but after a
restart on lap 122, he made contact with the wall while battling Kyle Busch
for position. He managed to continue in the race.

However, Stewart’s night at this fast 1.54-mile track came to a premature end
on lap 172 when he blew his right-front tire and crashed into the wall.

Regan Smith (Watkins Glen) and Jeff Burton (Michigan and Bristol) substituted
for Stewart in the No. 14 Chevrolet while Stewart had been in seclusion for
nearly three weeks.