BRISTOL, Tenn. — Kasey Kahne’s bumper-banging battle with Brad Keselowski was just the warm-up act in an action-packed race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Former teammates Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano exchanged words after the race — in person and on Twitter — because Hamlin spun Logano as Logano was racing for the lead.
A flat tire knocked Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth out of the race while they were running 1-2.
Typical Bristol, right? It looked that way as Kahne and Keselowski staged a spectacular battle for the lead, only for a caution to put them side-by-side for a restart with 39 laps to go.
Keselowski had an issue, he either spun his tires or the Hamlin-Logano feud disrupted his start, and Kahne sailed away for his first career victory at Bristol.
“Feels really good to win at this place," Kahne said. “Such a tough track over the years. This is a big race for me. When you race in the Sprint Cup Series, Bristol is a race you want to win."
Tempers flared after the race when Logano leaned inside Hamlin’s window to complain about Hamlin spinning him as he tried to pass Gordon for the lead.
Logano was pulled away from Hamlin’s car by crew members for both drivers in a classic post-Bristol clash that delighted the crowd. “They’re fighting! It’s Bristol!" yelled Clint Bowyer, who saw the action on the infield big screen.
Logano wouldn’t discuss what he told Hamlin, but indicated there’s no love lost between the former Joe Gibbs Racing teammates.
Also on Sunday:
Raikkonen wins F1 season opener: MELBOURNE, Australia — Kimi Raikkonen won Formula One’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix, jumpstarting Lotus’ bid to challenge the series’ bigger teams for the 2013 championship. Raikkonen managed to pull off a two-stop strategy while his six nearest rivals all needed three, taking the lead for good on lap 43 of 58 in a race that had seven different leaders. Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was second, while pole sitter and three-time reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel was third.
Month after crash, Brown wins Gatornationals: GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Exactly one month after a fiery crash in the NHRA season opener, Antron Brown picked up a victory at the Gatornationals. Brown used the fastest pass of the day to edge Clay Millican in the Top Fuel final. His win was his 22nd in Top Fuel and gave Don Schumacher Racing its 200th career victory. Only John Force Racing has more wins (218) in NHRA history.