DARLINGTON, S.C. — Matt Kenseth won his first Southern 500 Saturday night at Darlington after passing Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch with 13 laps to go.
ESPN reported that Busch led for 265 of the 367 laps at Darlington Raceway and had the strongest car for much of the race. But his machine appeared to fall away as he faded to sixth.
Denny Hamlin completed his first full race since he suffered a compression fracture in a vertebra in his lower back on March 24.
Jeff Gordon would up third in his 700th straight career start and points leader Jimmie Johnson was fourth and Kevin Harvick fifth.
Kenseth’s victory came without crew chief Jason Ratcliff, who was suspended for the No. 20 Toyota having an illegal part in a win at Kansas.