Kenseth Ends Winless Drought

Matt Kenseth

"It feels good to get back to Victory Lane." (Photo: Getty Images)

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Matt Kenseth stopped a 76-race winless streak with a convincing win in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kenseth, who has finished second second four times in the previous 10 races at TMS, raced to an 8.3-second win over Clint Bowyer to score his first win since taking the checkered flag at Auto Club Speedway in February of 2009.

"It feels good to get back to Victory Lane," Kenseth said. "It's been a long time. You talk about the second place finishes here, and I got beaten at the end of a lot of these races. It's great to finish second if you can't win.

"But another way is like getting kicked in the gut. You have to come back. Like last fall you look at Jimmy, and you come back and look at the guys and you're leading with two to go, three to go, five to go, and you don't win, it's always disappointing.

"So it feels good to have a night like we had tonight with a dominant car and to be able to get the win."

Although he had a dominating car and led 169 laps, Kenseth didn’t inherit the top spot for good until the final laps of Saturday’s first night race at Texas Motor Speedway when Kurt Busch relinquished the lead after trying to stretch his fuel load.

Once Kenseth took over the lead again with 13 laps-to-go he sped to his 19th career Sprint Cup Series victory.

“Clint is a very talented and smart driver,” Kenseth said of outrunning the Richard Childress Racing driver Bowyer. “His spotter helps him a lot too. I just had to be patient because he could kind of see the run to gain and he would run that groove and it was tough to get clean air. It was important to be out front.”

The win also moved Kenseth up to third in the standings.

“That is great. The goal every year is to win a championship and you can’t do that if you aren’t in the Chase so we have been pretty good over the last four weeks and now we have a pretty dominating win,” he said. “Hopefully we can carry this momentum back to victory lane a couple of times.”

Carl Edwards finished third to give all four Roush Fenway Racing drivers finishes in the top seven. Despite not feeling well, Edwards hung in for the top finish.

“I hate to throw my mom under the bus but she cooked something last night that I don’t think was too good,” Edwards said. “I think we chose the wrong package too. Bob and I were just talking about it. I feel good because Matt and those guys did a great job. Congrats to them.”

Rounding out the first 10 finishers were Greg Biffle, Paul Menard, Marcos Ambrose, David Ragan, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch.

Kyle Busch was leading the Sprint Cup points standings coming into the race but a vibration forced the Joe Gibbs Racing driver to a 16th-place finish.

The race was relatively clean except for one major incident which took place on the backstretch when Martin Truex Jr., Mark Martin and Regan Smith made contact in a multi-car crash. It was the second straight week Truex was involved in a violent accident after his heavy impact at Martinsville a week ago. No one was injured in Saturday night’s crash.

Edwards is the new point leader by nine over Kyle Busch with Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch rounding out the first five.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now heads to Talladega Superspeedway for next Sunday’s Aaron’s 499.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, Matt Kenseth

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