Matt Kenseth wins at Darlington despite absence of crew chief

May 11, 2013 at 11:56 PM

DARLINGTON, S.C., May 11 (UPI) -- Matt Kenseth shook off the loss of his suspended crew chief Saturday, passing Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch to post a win at Darlington Raceway.

Kenseth's No. 20 crew chief Jason Ratcliff was originally suspended for six races for using connecting rods at Kansas that did not meet the minimum weight, but that penalty was later reduced to one race -- Saturday's Southern 500.


Wally Brown filled in for Ratcliff and collected his first Sprint Cup victory at Darlington as Kenseth chased down and passed Busch with 13 laps to go.

Busch had led for 265 of 367 laps but sustained a cut right-rear tire within the 20 final laps.

Denny Hamlin, another Joe Gibbs team member, returned from a back fracture to corral second place while Jeff Gordon took third, marking his 300th Top 5 Sprint Cup finish.

Defending Darlington champ Jimmie Johnson finished in fourth place, Kevin Harvick claimed fifth and Busch ended up finishing sixth.

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