Saturday night’s Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway featured many drivers at the front of the field.
Between 23 lead changes and 12 unique leaders, there was no shortage of action concerning the race lead.
However, Brad Keselowski slipped by Alex Bowman with seven laps remaining for his third win of the 2019 campaign.
Keselowski only led a total of 12 laps but changing tires with 26 laps left gave his car the muscle to make his way to the front.
Among those he passed were Bowman and Chase Elliott. The two teammates led a combined 108 laps, but could not grab the victory. Bowman finished second for the third straight week and Elliott notched up fourth place.
Eclipsing both Hendrick drivers in laps led was Kevin Harvick, who led a race-high 104 laps. But during the first stint of Stage 3, Harvick slowed while leading due to a right front tyre problem.
He fell a lap down and went on to salvage 13th after finishing second in stage two and winning stage one.
Harvick seemed to wheel the dominant car until Chase Elliott passed him the middle of stage two green flag pit stops. Elliott regained the lead after the cycle and went on the win the stage over Harvick.
Behind the leaders, many drivers unaccustomed to scoring stage points regularly found themselves with fast cars.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr finished third and fifth in the two stages, but fell to 11th after overtime. Chris Buescher took sixth in both stages and finished tenth; his first top-10 since Atlanta in February.
Rookie and Xfinity Title contender Tyler Reddick hit the cautions right and placed ninth in a one-off race for the #31 car.
This weekend brought a brand new challenge that I haven’t experienced in a long time. There are so many good cars that you go door to door with for 267 laps. An absolute thrill ride from start to finish for our @tamethebeast @RCRracing ZL1! Hated to give away a top 5, but got p9! pic.twitter.com/LOKeFJXQxf
— Tyler Reddick (@TylerReddick) May 12, 2019
Kansas breakdown – How did everyone get on?
In all, the entire race provided more parity than any other non-superspeedway race this season.
The top 10 consisted of seven Chevrolets in a year where Chevy only has one win. Put of these drivers, Bowman, Erik Jones, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Reddick, and Buescher have all yet to win this season.
Aside from Keselowski, all of this year’s elite contenders encountered issues.
Harvick ran much of the last stage one lap down, while Denny Hamlin spun early on and ended up 16th.
Martin Truex Jr made contact with Daniel Suarez during a round of green flag stops in stage three and finished 19th.
Elsewhere, Kyle Busch received a penalty for driving through four pit stalls after his stop under caution that would have gifted him the lead.
While working his way back through the field, Busch squeezed between Bowyer and Jones and incurred a tyre rub that forced him to pit. He would settle for a lowly 30th place finish.
A tough break for @KyleBusch.
He's forced to pit road late with a tire rub after this contact! pic.twitter.com/hYkISeIRUb
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) May 12, 2019
Meanwhile, Bowyer and Jones, were involved in an incident during the final restart. Jones blocked Bowyer going down the front-stretch with one lap to go. Bowyer lifted to avoid contact and fell back in the first turn.
After the race, Bowyer was displeasured and bumped Jones during the cool down lap. He later proclaimed that he “should’ve wrecked” the driver of the #20 Toyota.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) May 12, 2019
Tempers rose at Kansas under the lights, and they might get highlighted again when the NASCAR travels to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the sport’s annual All-Star Race.
The Monster Energy Open will run at 10:00 pm GMT (6:00 pm EDT). This will be followed by the Monster Energy All-Star Race at 12:00 pm GMT (8:00 pm EDT), all on Sky Sports (FS1).