Jun 30, 2013, 4:02 PM EST
After taking the lead following a fuel-only stop with 25 laps to go, Matt Kenseth capitalized on track position – and a spin off the penultimate restart by the dominant Jimmie Johnson – to win the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.
A crash involving Brian Vickers brought out the yellow with 27 laps left and on the subsequent stops, crew chief Jason Ratcliff made the decision not to give Kenseth any fresh tires. He led the race off pit road over Johnson, who had chosen to take right-side tires on his last stop of the afternoon.
Kenseth and Johnson led the field to the green on Lap 246, but while Kenseth pulled away, Johnson fell back and then spun out in Turn 2. The field was able to avoid the five-time Sprint Cup champion, who immediately called for Kenseth to be penalized for what he saw as him slowing the restart.
The penalty never came however, and Kenseth held onto the lead through one last restart before going on to his fourth victory of the season and his third on 1.5-mile tracks. Johnson, who led 182 laps on the day, wound up finishing ninth after restarting 25th following the spin.
Kenseth jokingly said that at the time, he thought Ratcliff was “slightly crazy” for the fuel-only call, but was happy with the results.
“Jason did a great job – I didn’t think there was any way we were gonna hold on for that win,” Kenseth told TNT in Victory Lane. “He made the right call at the right time and the guys got it done.”
Ratcliff said that he thought Kenseth would be tough to beat if he could get to the front.
“I knew if we could get Matt position, he would make a good fight at it and he obviously did,” he explained. “Thankfully, we got a couple good restarts there…I knew [the pit stop] was going to be our only shot to get it done today and with the position we’re in right now with the 20 car – we’ve had some success at the start of the season – we can take some shots like this.”
Jamie McMurray was closing in on Kenseth in the closing laps, but ran out of time and finished seven-tenths of a second back. However, his strong runner-up performance marks his first Top-5 result since August of 2011 at Bristol Motor Speedway, when he finished fifth. Clint Bowyer finished in third, with Joey Logano and Kyle Busch rounding out the Top 5 at the checkered flag.
Dec 21, 2013, 8:07 PM EST
Two days down, one more to go for the ARCA Racing Series, which is conducting an Open Test this weekend at the Daytona International Speedway. So far, it’s been a good test for Venturini Motorsports, which has seen its drivers top the charts both today and on Friday. Today, Justin Boston hit P1 in the…
Dec 21, 2013, 4:00 PM EST
Irish star Damien Faulkner has landed a seat in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The TRG refugee has a multiyear deal in place with the new GB Autosport team, which will run a Porsche 911 GT America in the series’ GT Daytona class. “I’m delighted to have joined GB Autosport for the 2014 TUDOR United…
Dec 21, 2013, 2:00 PM EST
Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the last month, you’ve seen Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy in some form or another to plug Anchorman 2. Will Ferrell also has a racing tie-in, of course, when he played Ricky Bobby in 2006′s Talladega Nights. American Le Mans Series PC class driver Kyle Marcelli, who finished the…
Dec 21, 2013, 12:00 PM EST
Before February’s reveal of the full 56 cars that will compete in the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, 12 teams have already earned entries into next year’s race via automatic invitations from the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO). Those 12 are: OAK Racing (2 LMP2 entries; 1st LMP2 in 24H of LM, 1st LMP2…
Dec 20, 2013, 10:00 PM EST
Sauber has completed its roster for the 2014 Formula One World Championship, as Russian racer Sergey Sirotkin has been announced as the team’s test driver alongside race drivers Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez. Sirotkin, who finished ninth in this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 championship with podium finishes at Aragon, Spain and the Hungaroring, became a…
Dec 20, 2013, 9:24 PM EST
Esteban Gutierrez has been confirmed to a second season at Sauber, which ends a several-month long saga about his future in the team. The Mexican rookie came on in the second half of 2013, even though he failed to match highly rated teammate Nico Hulkenberg in the lead car. His only points finish was a…
Dec 20, 2013, 8:55 PM EST
Red Bull announced earlier today that Pierre Wache has become the team’s new head of vehicle dynamics, replacing Mark Ellis who is set to move to Mercedes next summer. Wache previously served as Red Bull’s chief engineer of car performance and joined the World Champions this past June following his departure from Sauber. The move…
Dec 20, 2013, 7:39 PM EST
This week’s test session at Sebring International Raceway marked the first time working together for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing’s driver/engineer tandem of Josef Newgarden (pictured, from September’s Grand Prix of Baltimore) and Jeremy Milless. Milless, who recently was promoted to chief engineer on Newgarden’s No. 67 Honda, has been with SFHR since the 2012 season…
Dec 20, 2013, 6:23 PM EST
The much-maligned double points award for Formula One season finales may not be long for this world according to Formula One kingpin Bernie Ecclestone. The British billionaire has told the UK’s Telegraph newspaper that the controversial rule could be scrapped as soon as next month’s meeting of the F1 Strategy Group. But in doing so,…
Dec 20, 2013, 5:00 PM EST
Billy Scott will be the man atop the pit box for the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota and driver Brian Vickers in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Scott, an MWR member since 2008, has served as the lead engineer for the No. 55 car over the last two seasons. “I’m honored, but…
Dec 20, 2013, 3:31 PM EST
The FIA’s Land Speed Records Commission has homologated two of Colin Braun‘s record speed runs this past October at Daytona International Speedway as official world records. The world records are for 10 kilometers (203.010 mph) and 10 miles (210.017 mph), both from a standing start. Braun achieved the marks in a Ford Ecoboost-powered Daytona Prototype…
Dec 20, 2013, 3:00 PM EST
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has testing at Daytona International Speedway this weekend. ARCA, while not affiliated directly with NASCAR, is a stock car racing series that generally kicks off Daytona Speedweeks in style with a barnburner of a 200-mile race. Of note, two female drivers have some races confirmed in the series…
Dec 20, 2013, 2:30 PM EST
Christmas is a special time everywhere but depending on the locale, the traditions of the season can be rather unique. Just ask Team Penske’s Will Power, who hails from Toowoomba, Australia – a place that has its own ways of celebrating the holiday. For example, instead of chestnuts, Power maintains that he and his loved…
Dec 20, 2013, 2:00 PM EST
Ferrari is offering its fans the chance to name its 2014 Formula One car, via a fan vote on the Internet, which could be perilous. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo announced the news at the company’s annual pre-Christmas dinner with Italian media at Fiorano. Recently, the Ferrari nomenclature has been a simple F-year, F2012 being…
Dec 20, 2013, 1:20 PM EST
Former Toyota and Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi could be making a trip back to Formula One in 2014. Since departing from Hinwil in 2012, Kobayashi has been driving a Ferrari for AF Corse in the FIA World Endurance Championship and didn’t do badly with four podium finishes this past season. But Autoweek contributor Adam Cooper…
Dec 20, 2013, 1:00 PM EST
Here’s a brief roundup of teams and drivers that have tested at least one day since the end of the IndyCar Series season at Fontana. Drivers in italics do not have a confirmed seat for 2014: Chip Ganassi Racing: Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, Alex Tagliani Team Penske: Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo…
Dec 20, 2013, 12:00 PM EST
We’ve written a lot in the week since Ryan Briscoe was picked to be Chip Ganassi Racing’s fourth driver about his return to the team, but not nearly as much about reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan actually taking over the No. 10 Target IndyCar from Dario Franchitti. Things are coming a bit full circle…
Dec 20, 2013, 11:30 AM EST
After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year. Filling in at Lotus for…
Dec 20, 2013, 11:00 AM EST
After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year. Making history in 2013 –…
Dec 20, 2013, 10:30 AM EST
After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year. It was a relatively anonymous…