A great battle at Bristol gave Matt Kenseth his fifth win of the year, and the writers a chance to close the gap on each other.
There has never been, nor ever will be, a track like Bristol, nor will there ever be a race like it holds in late August under the night sky and bright lights.
It's provided many fond memories in it's vast history, and another classic battle was added to that list on Saturday night.
Another classic battle between Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth would decide this one. Two drivers who have been very familiar with each other in earlier races this year were the ones that would battle for victory in one of the marquee races on the season. This small track has seen it's share of bump-and-runs, and it appeared that this would be another chapter in this book.
There were signs, fenders being rubbed, bumpers being touched, and metal being bent. On the final lap, one final chance came, but it just couldn't go down.
In the end, it was Matt Kenseth taking his fifth win of the season, securing his own spot in the 2013 Chase, and right now the No. 1 seed in the Chase field. If momentum is key, Kenseth got it back, while Jimmie Johnson seems to have lost it with another poor finish.
There were few poor finishes this week, but no wins. Standings still remain tight, however. Here's where everyone stands after the Irwin Tools Night Race:
Rob Tiongson (837) Kasey Kahne finished 2nd (2)
Kelly Crandall (800) Kyle Busch finished 11th (1)
Patti Rodisch (800) Kyle Busch finished 11th (0)
Rob Blount (776) Joey Logano finished 5th (1)
Billy Fellin (770) Kyle Busch finished 11th (1)
Sal Sigala Jr. (770) Kyle Busch finished 11th (1)
Michael Hirshbein (734) Kyle Busch finished 11th (2)
Dustin Parks (723) Kasey Kahne finished 2nd (0)
Ryan O'Hara (685) Jeff Gordon finished 7th (0)
Kara Martin (681) Kyle Busch finished 11th (0)
James Broomhead (643) Kevin Harvick finished 34th (1)
Misan Akuya (625) Jamie McMurray finished 19th (1)
Christopher Leone (561) Kyle Busch finished 11th (0)
Next Race: The run to the Chase involves three night races, but each one is different. We just had the most famous night race of them all at Bristol. The next one has taken on a life of it's own since it took over this date a few years ago. It's become a great tradition, despite having a date that historically was for another famed race track.
Up next for NASCAR is a "prime time" experience, because it is the only Sunday night race of the year. Sure, the race on Memorial Day weekend ends at night, but this one happens all at night.
Next week is faster speeds, higher banking, and a lot of momentum as NASCAR heads to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for what has been one of the fastest tracks in NASCAR for many years.
Writers, pull those belts tight, as the Chase is near. Have your picks for the AdvoCare 500 submitted by Thursday, August 29, at 10 p.m. ET.