Sylvania 300 2013 Results: Leaders, Updated Sprint Cup Standings and Reaction

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIISeptember 22, 2013

Sep 22, 2013; Loudon, NH, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Matt Kenseth (20) celebrates his victory of the Sylvania 300 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Kenseth made it two wins in a row to kick off the Chase, as he held off teammate Kyle Busch to take Sunday's Sylvania 300 in Loudon, N.H. The No. 20 car has been amazing in the early going of NASCAR's postseason. Kenseth is beginning to build a commanding lead in the Chase, as this was his seventh win of the season.

Per NASCAR on ESPN, Kenseth joins great company with this latest win:

Joe Gibbs Racing occupied the first two spots in the final standings for the second straight race. Busch was the runner-up at the Geico 400 in Chicago as well. He acknowledged Kenseth's superior vehicle after the finish:

Here's a look at the final race results and the updated Sprint Cup standings via NASCAR.com. Click here for the complete race results.

 

Where Kenseth Took Control

LOUDON, NH - SEPTEMBER 22:  Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Home Depot / Husky Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 22, 2013 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo by Jeff Ze
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Kenseth briefly held the lead after 110 laps, but the race featured 17 lead changes and several drivers had their time as the front-runner. With just over 90 laps remaining, Kenseth took control for good. He waded through cautions caused by a few minor wrecks to push on for the victory.

Strategy was key and Kenseth's team managed pit stops as well as anyone on the day. A few drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick attempted to push the limits of their pit window.

Kenseth played it close to the vest and allowed his car and crew to do a bulk of the work. Afterword, he was overcome with joy and gratification:

 

Kyle Busch Just Misses...Again

LOUDON, NH - SEPTEMBER 20:  Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Peanut Butter Toyota, stands by his car after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 20, 2013 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

He hung around and stayed in position throughout the race, but at the end, Busch didn't have the juice under the hood to overtake his teammate. Running second in consecutive weeks has to be frustrating. However, the Chase has only just begun; two second-place finishes still has him in great position overall.

Kenseth and Busch are separating themselves from the pack, and writer Richard Allen is spot on in his assessment of the two stars of Joe Gibbs Racing:

 

Wrecks and Effects

Bobby Labonte

The No. 47 car looked good early on, but a blown tire led to a wreck that removed him from serious contention. NASCAR's official Twitter account captured Labonte's wreck.

He had to settle for a 40th-place finish.

 

Kevin Swindell

After colliding with Jamie McMurray early in the race, Swindell's vehicle took some nasty damage. Remarkably, he still finished 38th. NASCAR has the video of his wreck as well:

 

Kasey Kahne

The most disappointing wipeout had to be Kahne's. He had a legitimate chance to be a factor in the last 10 laps of the race, but he hit the wall with just 48 laps to go, finishing 37th:

 

Next Race: AAA 400 on Sept. 29

The drivers and crews will head to Dover, Del., next Sunday to continue the Chase. Tony Stewart won the FedEx 400 there in June, but injuries have Smoke on the shelf, per Nate Ryan of USA Today. Could Kenseth make it three in a row? Find out on Sunday.

 

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