In The Pits: What makes a great race?

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It’s also possible that after three mediocre races with NASCAR’s new Gen-6 car to open the season, fans didn’t want to spend the money to see its first short track test.

But in sitting home, they missed a race that was good for all the right reasons.

Yeah, Hamlin dumped Logano while Logano was chasing Jeff Gordon for the lead, and that’s why Logano confronted him after the race. If that wasn’t enough, Gordon as the leader later got a flat that contributed him to taking out the second-place car driven by Kenseth.

Both incidents were memorable, but fans of great racing got to see a real show later as Kahne and Keselowski hunkered down in a battle for the checkered flag.

Kahne tried to work his way around Keselowski, who blocked high, low and all over the track. Kahne finally made the pass, only to get stuck in traffic and watch Keselowski reclaim the lead.

“I bumped him a few times. He was sideways trying to hold us back,” Kahne said. “I got the lead, then gave it right back in lapped traffic two laps later. Definitely I was mad at myself at that point in time. About spun out off of (turn) two a few laps after that, had to calm down, get things going again.”

He got his chance after a caution put them side-by-side for a final restart, where Kahne took off as Keselowski was held up either because he spun his tires or was hit from behind. Keselowski said he was hit and never had a chance again, in part because he had his hands full holding off Kyle Busch in a fierce battle for second.

It wasn’t the old Bristol because, as Keselowski said, it might be better.

“The old Bristol can never come back. It will never be 1995 through 1999,” he said. “It’s a whole different era with a different car. You can’t recreate that. You can try like hell, but you’ll probably be disappointed in the result. But I say that the old Bristol isn’t back. I quite honestly feel like this one’s better. Now it’s hard because you don’t have the nostalgia effect, the Terry Labonte-Dale Earnhardt battles for the win, all that kind of stuff _ that’s not coming back.

“But I think you have something better than that right now. I think if you look at it objectively, this was a great race.”

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