Kenseth Vegas Headliner
March 2, 2003 | 12:15 A.M. EST
Kenseth drove his DeWalt Tools Ford to a convincing win in Sunday's UAW-DaimlerChrylser 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The win was another chapter in the amazing record for Roush Racing at the dessert track which now has four Winston Cup wins at LVMS.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and teammate Michael Waltrip finished behind Kenseth with polesitter Bobby Labonte and his Joe Gibbs Racing mate Tony Stewart rounding out the Top 5. Jeff Burton, Ryan Newman, Sterling Marlin, Joe Nemechek and Steve Park completed the first ten finishers.
"This win goes to the guys in the pit for such great pit work today," said Kenseth, who picked up career Winston Cup win number seven. "The car was strong all day but the pit work, by the guys who are the World Champions, was really the difference."
Kenseth trails Waltrip by three points in the point standings race with Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Burton and Stewart finishing the Top 5.
"This is a race track we've only been to once a year, so I think most drivers don't have a good book on what the race track requires," car owner Jack Roush said. "I think our guys are a little better than average on the new situation, plus I figured when we got here this time that everybody would have good enough information."
The race ended in a wild fashion when Marlin and Johnson, racing for eighth place, tangled on the final lap. As Kenseth took the checkered flag, Marlin and Johnson touched racing through turn four, sending the Lowe's Chevrolet spinning down the main straight and into the grass. Marlin hung on for eighth while Johnson, who was credited with eleventh, stormed down pit road and into the garage area.
"I hope it wasn't intentional," Johnson said. "I raced clean with everybody all day long and don't put a tire mark on anyone and then I get turned coming to the checkers and lose three spots. That kind of bums me out."
Last week's Rockingham winner Dale Jarrett suffered a tough day and wound up 41st in the final rundown. Jarrett was tapped by Park as the pack went through the second turn, sending the UPS Ford hard into the outside wall.
"I got hit, pretty simple," said Jarrett, who finished one position ahead of his Robert Yates Racing teammates, who was sidelined with an engine problem. "The car was pretty good but we had nothing to do with what happened out there and wound up in the fence."
The biggest incident of the day's race record six caution flags came on lap 176 when a multi-car pile-up knocked out seven cars including Mike Skinner, Rusty Wallace, Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Larry Foyt, Jimmie Spencer and Todd Bodine. The chain reaction crash started when Skinner got into Wallace, sending the Miller Lite Ford into the wall, which was quickly hit hard by Gordon.
"It was my fault, that's all I can say," said Skinner. "It was an accident, I got into Rusty and I apologize to everyone for starting that deal."
The Winston Cup Series now moves to Atlanta Motor Speedway for next Sunday's Bass Pro Shops/MBNA 500.