Kahne wins at Atlanta, Stewart crashes and finishes 41st
In a long race that featured two green-white-checkered finish attempts, Kahne passed Matt Kenseth for the lead just before they crossed the line to complete the penultimate lap. Kahne held off Kenseth at the finish by 0.6 seconds for his first win of the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season.
All four drivers from Hendrick Motorsports are now in the 10-race championship Chase, which begins in two weeks at Chicagoland. The series will conclude its regular season next Saturday night at Richmond.
Kenseth has yet to win a race this season, but his second-place run at Atlanta secured him a spot in the Chase due to his points ranking.
Denny Hamlin finished third, followed by Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards.
Kevin Harvick dominated most of this race by leading 195 of 335 laps, but Harvick was involved in an accident with Paul Menard and Joey Logano following the restart for the first two-lap overtime finish attempt. He ended up finishing 19th one day after he won the Nationwide Series race here with a dominating performance, leading 159 laps in that event.
Stewart, who is Harvick's teammate and team co-owner, made his first start since his involvement in a fatal accident during an Aug. 9 sprint car race at a dirt track in Upstate New York. Stewart struck and killed driver Kevin Ward Jr.
Stewart started 12th and quickly made his way into the top-six, but after a restart on lap 122, he made contact with the wall while battling Kyle Busch for position. He managed to continue in the race.
However, Stewart's night at this fast 1.54-mile track came to a premature end on lap 172 when he blew his right-front tire and crashed into the wall.
Regan Smith (Watkins Glen) and Jeff Burton (Michigan and Bristol) substituted for Stewart in the No. 14 Chevrolet while Stewart had been in seclusion for nearly three weeks.