Kenseth Still Winless, Now Leads Points
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on June 2, 2014 | 9:00 A.M. EST
Kenseth holds a two-point advantage in the standings after posting his second consecutive third-place finish. (Photo: Getty Images)
Kenseth led 17 laps and was at the front of the field for much of the 400-lap race around the one-mile concrete oval. He eventually had to settle for third behind race winner Jimmie Johnson and second-place Brad Keselowski.
"It was good," Kenseth said of his day. "I mean, I thought the 48 (Johnson) and the 4 (Kevin Harvick) had us all day. The 24 (Jeff Gordon) at times -- all of the Hendrick cars were strong and Brad got up there at the end. We had a good top-five car. I did an awful job on that last restart. Just got spinning the tires too much and the best car won. We just need to be a little bit better."
Kenseth had a shot - albeit a long one considering his Johnson was running all day - to score his first win of the season on a late restart. But Johnson, with four fresh tires, was in control and Kenseth did not get anywhere near as good a run as the eventual winner.
"I think they're still spinning," said Kenseth of his tires. "The 48 (Johnson) spun them, and I spun them a little bit, and I was kind of in his door and I tried grabbing third early thinking that would get it to stop spinning and it didn't, and I just needed to do a better job. I needed to let off the gas and let the rear tires quit screaming so I could get rolling."
Kenseth also had his hands full with Clint Bowyer in the final laps run to the checkered flag.
"I was still trying to get it going," Kenseth said. "I think I was still spinning the tires in fourth gear, and Clint hit me, I guess trying to give me a push there and just destroyed our car. I think I destroyed it. I was glad to still finish after that."
But at the end of the day Kenseth had a strong outing and takes the Sprint Cup Series point lead into next weekend's stop at Pocono Raceway, which starts the second half of the regular season. While he admits there's ground to be made up, Kenseth is still optimistic the Joe Gibbs Racing team can make more strides as the summer stretch awaits.
"Obviously all the Hendrick and Stewart-Haas cars have been showing a ton of speed all year long, been in position to win a lot of races," Kenseth said. "We've got to figure out how to get ahead of them."