Kenseth Stays The Course

17406Jpg
Matt Kenseth continued to post Top 10 finishes coming home in 6th place overall in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Kenseth bested all but one of his closest rivals in the 2003 point race, including event-favorite Dale Earnhardt, Jr. It was Kenseth’s 14th top-10 finish in 17 events so far this year. Though plenty pleased, he was quick to point out there is a long road ahead.

"It is a load off my shoulders to get out of Daytona with a top 10 finish and not really lose any points. We lost a couple to Bobby [Labonte], I guess. I don't know who else finished up there, but other than that, we didn't really lose any points. That was a great night for us. Everybody was talking about going to Sears Point and losing a bunch and coming to Daytona and losing a bunch and we really didn't do that bad. I feel great about what we've done so far, but we're still not here to the halfway point and we've got a lot of work to do."

After using a provisional to start the race in 37th place, Kenseth quickly moved up through the field in a car he was plenty happy with following the final practice session at the 2.5 mile track. Drafting up through the middle of the field with help from teammate Kurt Busch, Kenseth found himself in 15th place by the 10th lap. The racing groove was a little crowded and Kenseth had a minor bump with rookie Casey Mears going through the tri-oval two laps later. He radioed to his crew that the car was a little tight and that the track was slick. The car, it seemed however, could run anywhere on the track.

Kenseth came in for his first pit stop on lap 38 and got right side tires only. Seven and a half seconds later, he was on his way. The only adjustments used all night on the car were air pressure changes to the tires. With the gutsy two-tire stop, Kenseth rotated out to fifth place on the grid when the pit cycle ended. He stayed in the top-five lead draft over the next 20 laps until the first caution flag of the night flew on lap 63.

Coming down pit road on the next lap, Kenseth overshot his pit stall, narrowly missing right front tire carrier Chris Brook in the process. The over the wall crew didn’t panic, but simply backed Kenseth into position and completed a four tire stop. Due to the lengthy nature, however, he restarted the event in 27th position on lap 68. Remarking on his pit crew’s successful evening, Kenseth offered these thoughts:

“Everything went good except for when I overshot the pits. Our pit stops were good times and we had great stops on pit road.”

Just five laps later, the “big one” occurred as teammate Kurt Busch’s right rear tire went down and he spun in front of the pack coming off of turn two. A dozen cars were collected, but Kenseth turned down and went under the spinning cars, missing it completely. After topping off the fuel tank, Kenseth restarted in 12th on lap 79. One lap later at the halfway point, he was back in the top-10.

Through the pit cycle in the coming laps around 105, crew chief Robbie Reiser had Kenseth stay out as others pitted. This strategy helped Kenseth lead four laps from 106 to 110, earning five bonus points. Kenseth pitted for right side tires and fuel on lap 116, relinquishing the lead.

As the laps wound down, drama began to unfold in the pits as Kenseth twice called over the radio to see if they could stret

Photos

  • Firecracker 400 Flashback
  • Firecracker 400 Flashback
  • Firecracker 400 Flashback
  • Firecracker 400 Flashback
  • Firecracker 400 Flashback
  • Firecracker 400 Flashback
  • Firecracker 400 Flashback
  • Firecracker 400 Flashback
  • Firecracker 400 Flashback
  • Firecracker 400 Flashback
  • Firecracker 400 Flashback
  • Firecracker 400 Flashback
  • Firecracker 400 Flashback
  • Gordon's NYC Ride of Fame
  • Gordon's NYC Ride of Fame
  • Gordon's NYC Ride of Fame
  • Gordon's NYC Ride of Fame
  • Gordon's NYC Ride of Fame
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • Jeff Gordon Homecoming Tour
  • Jeff Gordon Homecoming Tour
  • Jeff Gordon Homecoming Tour
  • Jeff Gordon Homecoming Tour
  • Jeff Gordon Homecoming Tour
  • Jeff Gordon Homecoming Tour
  • Jeff Gordon Homecoming Tour
  • Jeff Gordon Homecoming Tour
  • Testing at Richmond
  • Testing at Richmond

Advertisement

You may unsubscribe at any time.
Motor Racing Network
555 MRN Drive
Concord, NC 28027
www.mrn.com/Footer/Contact-Us.aspx
(704)262-6700
feedback@mrn.com
  • © 2015 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites