In a highly contentious battle on Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Brad Keselowski stunned Kasey Kahne down the stretch to win the 2013 Bank of America 500.
Keselowski led for just 11 laps in a race that featured 24 lead changes, but he ultimately got the job done at the most crucial stage.
Let's take a look at how it all went down on Saturday.
2013 Bank of America 500 Leaderboard
Jeff Gordon burst out to the lead early. He led for the first 26 laps before falling to eighth after a pit stop. Interestingly enough, Gordon changed four tires during the stop, while most drivers only changed two.
Kasey Kahne took the lead after the top, only to be passed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Lap 31.
On Lap 36, six of the top seven cars were Chevrolets. Martin Truex Jr. and his No. 56 Toyota were surrounded.
Gordon started to inch his way back into the race on Lap 40, gaining three spots to fifth place.
Kahne started to gain on Earnhardt after that, eventually surpassing the 39-year-old on Lap 44. He continued to increase the gap on Lap 48, while Truex moved into second place.
On Lap 63, the top five consisted of (in order): Kahne, Truex, Jimmie Johnson, Earnhardt and Gordon.
Denny Hamlin, who found himself in the top 25 of the Sprint Cup standings before Saturday's action, began to move closer to the front on Lap 67, determined to challenge the leaders.
Then, a succession of pit stops saw Johnson, Ryan Newman and Kahne take turns in front. After the cycle of stops, it was Kahne who was in the lead.
Kyle Busch, after a frustrating start featuring miscommunication with his pit crew, bounced back into sixth place in Lap 93. He moved up to fifth place on Lap 99.
On Lap 123, Earnhardt drifted too much, allowing Johnson to surpass him for second place.
It wasn't until Lap 130 that Kahne lost the lead to Newman. Newman, Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer and Keselowski took turns with the lead before Kahne roared back into first place on Lap 135. By Lap 137, it was Busch who was challenging Kahne. Eleven drivers had led by Lap 140.
But, amid all the chaos, it was Kahne who always seemed just a step ahead. By Lap 156, he had led 100 laps.
Nate Ryan of USA Today Sports tweeted:
Kasey Kahne has dominated the first half of this race. But even if he wins, he still could be ranked last of 13 Chase drivers. #nascar— Nate Ryan (@nateryan) October 13, 2013
The race off the pit road on Lap 175 yielded (in order): Kahne, Johnson, Gordon, Busch and Earnhardt.
After the restart on Lap 178, Johnson jumped out to the lead over Kahne.
Johnson continued to lead the way. On Lap 207, he still had the lead, marking his 29th lap led. The top five on Lap 209 consisted of (in order): Johnson, Kahne, Busch, Gordon and Kenseth.
During pit stops, the lead changed from Busch back to Johnson.
Earnhardt continued his slide from there, falling to 11th place on Lap 244.
By Lap 249, Johnson had led for 71 laps, appearing to gain control of the race.
By Lap 286, Johnson led Busch, while Kahne, Kenseth and Keselowski followed. Kahne continued to do everything in his power to surpass Johnson—finishing with the fastest time on Lap 302—but still couldn't catch the three-time Bank of America 500 champion.
But Johnson hit some bad luck down the stretch, as a restart due to debris on the racetrack pushed Kahne back into the lead on Lap 309.
NASCAR on ESPN tweeted:
Johnson shuffled to 7th on the restart as Kahne leads Gordon, Kenseth, Brad K, Kyle B., Harvick and Jimmie.— NASCAR on ESPN (@ESPNNASCAR) October 13, 2013
Kahne tried to hold off Keselowski and Kenseth down the stretch, but it was Keselowski who ultimately burst ahead for the win.
It was Keselowski's first win of 2013 and first career victory at the Bank of America 500.
Updated 2013 Sprint Cup Standings
|9.||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||2159|