BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) -- No way Matt Kenseth was giving up track position -- not with a chance for car owner Jack Roush to win on his home track.
Kenseth kept his lead rather than pit for fresh tires following a red flag, then held off two rookies and Dale Jarrett to capture the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.
"Fifth or forward, you have to stay out," said Kenseth, who earned his series-best third victory this year. "If anyone told me to come in for tires, I would have refused. I didn't want to give up the lead and I didn't want tires."
Roush survived a nearly fatal plane crash in April. He is recovering at his Michigan home but came to the track on crutches to watch his four cars race.
"When we do really poorly here, and I remember the times we've done poorly as much as the times that we've won, it's a huge embarrassment and I can't wait to come back for the next race," Roush said.
Kenseth contended for the lead during the final third of the race with rookie Jimmie Johnson, but appeared headed to an easy victory with six laps to go until Elliott Sadler crashed in Turn 2.
NASCAR stopped the race to clean up the debris and ensure a green-flag finish.
"I was hoping caution wouldn't come out," Kenseth said. "We had a five-second lead, but they made it interesting by throwing the red flag. Red flags are a tough, tough deal, but it makes it interesting for the fans."
That it did, as all the teams plotted strategy before the pits opened following a seven-minute stoppage -- leading to a frantic finish of three- and four-wide racing.
Team owner Jack Roush (right) celebrated with Kenseth.
When the pits opened, Kenseth, Johnson and Ryan Newman all stayed on the track as the leaders even though their tires were old.
Jarrett, the pole-sitter and last week's winner at Pocono, and another pack of cars went with the opposite strategy by going in for tires. That put them far behind the leaders, but gave them faster cars.
"Had to come in for four tires, it was the key and the only way we were going to make any kind of run at it," Jarrett said.
The race went green with three laps to go and Newman, in third on the restart, got a terrific jump to fool Johnson and send him backward into the pack. With Johnson out of the way, Newman had a clear shot at chasing down Kenseth. But he never could get past him because he quickly had to deal with Jarrett.
"I had a run on Matt, but I didn't think it was going to stick," Newman said. "I tried it anyway just for the sake of doing it, and that cost myself and that's when Dale got by me."
Jarrett, 11th on the restart, passed Newman with one lap to go and was on Kenseth's back bumper off Turn 4. But Kenseth threw a block that kept Jarrett behind him as he crossed the finish line 0.131 seconds ahead.
"All I needed was one more corner," Jarrett said. "I'm not just being cocky or a smart-aleck in saying that, but my car was much faster through the turns then these guys who had no tires."
Newman was third and was followed by Michael Waltrip and Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon, the champion.
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