Skip to content

Kenseth hangs on to Chase lead despite Sunday struggle

Oct 7, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

Subway Firecracker 250 - Qualifying Getty Images

Chase for the Sprint Cup leader Matt Kenseth probably feels lucky that he’s still atop the standings after a bizarre Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

In addition to having to deal with a record 15 cautions, Kenseth also had to fight with an ill-handling No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and overcome a speeding penalty on pit road in order to claim an 11th-place finish.

As a result, Kenseth holds a three-point lead over Jimmie Johnson in the Chase; Johnson was able to finish sixth.

“It was a struggle all day – even when we were in front, it was a struggle. I’ve been so incredibly spoiled this year – I haven’t had to drive a car like that in a long time,” said Kenseth, who charged from 28th position off a restart with 35 laps to go in order to salvage his afternoon.

“Everybody was on the same tires – you can’t really blame that – but it was just incredibly treacherous and I was just so loose I was ready to crash pretty much at all times of the race, so [crew chief] Jason [Ratcliff] did a nice job with some strategy calls and I still lost all our track position, but good adjustments at the end.

“We drove back to 11th, which definitely isn’t what we wanted or what we need to contend for this thing, but it was a good save for as bad as we were.”

Going into Sunday, Kenseth had been struggling to cope with the second version of Goodyear’s “zone tread” tires, which were used this weekend as right-side tires in Kansas. Afterwards, the former Cup champion said that they were “obviously not the answer.”

“That’s the worst conditions I’ve raced in I don’t know how long – probably since they paved Charlotte probably and had that hard tire,” Kenseth said. “I’m sure [race winner] Kevin’s [Harvick] happy, but other than that, I think everybody kind of struggled with [the zone tire].”

Still, it could’ve been much worse for Kenseth, something he himself noted. Also helping the Wisconsin native was Johnson’s power failure with two laps to go, which forced him to basically coast for the remainder before he wound up sixth at the checkered flag.

That sequence likely helped Kenseth retain the points lead heading into Charlotte Motor Speedway next weekend.

Latest Posts
  1. MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: Japanese GP

    Oct 2, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    Japan F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    The MST writing team makes its predictions ahead of this weekend’s race at Suzuka.

  2. IndyCar Driver Review: Sebastian Saavedra

    Oct 2, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT

    Sebastian Saavedra AP

    Sebastian Saavedra ends last among full-time IndyCar drivers for the second year in a row.

  3. Verstappen set to make F1 history in Japanese GP practice just three days after turning 17

    Oct 2, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Previews Getty Images

    He can’t drive a road car on his own at home in the Netherlands, but Max Verstappen will be driving a Toro Rosso in FP1 at Suzuka on Friday.

  4. IndyCar Driver Review: Carlos Huertas

    Oct 2, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    Grand Prix of Indianapolis Getty Images

    Carlos Huertas ends P20 in his first IndyCar season, with that freaky Houston win.

  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. as Knight Rider? (VIDEO)

    Oct 2, 2014, 11:06 AM EDT

    AAA 400 - Qualifying Getty Images

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. plays Knight Rider in “Funny or Die” video.

  6. As Alonso nears the Ferrari exit, Bianchi awaits his chance

    Oct 2, 2014, 10:45 AM EDT

    F1 Testing At Silverstone - Day Two Getty Images

    The Marussia driver could be in line to replace Alonso at Ferrari if the Spaniard is released one year early.

  7. Typhoon set to hit Japan on Sunday, putting GP schedule at risk

    Oct 2, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    © UBIMET © UBIMET

    Category four typhoon could force the race to be held on Saturday instead of Sunday.

  8. 2014 Japanese Grand Prix Preview

    Oct 2, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Previews Getty Images

    Umbrellas at the ready! This weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix is going to be a rainy one.

  9. IMSA: Titles on the line at Petit Le Mans

    Oct 2, 2014, 9:03 AM EDT

    Joao Barbosa AP

    Titles on the line at the TUDOR Championship finale in Atlanta.

  10. IndyCar Driver Review: Graham Rahal

    Oct 2, 2014, 12:05 AM EDT

    NTT DATA Qualifying Day - Firestone 600 Getty Images

    Graham Rahal ends P19 after a tough season, but he was better than the stats would indicate.

  11. Merhi, Stevens get Suzuka FP1 outings with Caterham, Marussia

    Oct 1, 2014, 11:59 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying Getty Images

    Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens to run in FP1 at Suzuka.

  12. IndyCar Driver Review: Takuma Sato

    Oct 1, 2014, 11:35 PM EDT

    SatoPost Getty Images

    Results and statistics don’t tell the tale for Takuma Sato’s hard-luck 2014 IndyCar season.

  13. IndyCar Driver Review: Jack Hawksworth

    Oct 1, 2014, 10:57 PM EDT

    HawkTOR AP

    Jack Hawksworth overachieved in his first Verizon IndyCar Series season.

  14. NASCAR AMERICA: Edwards and Kahne on rest of Chase format (VIDEO)

    Oct 1, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Cheez-It 355 At The Glen - Practice Getty Images

    Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne check in on the Contender round of the new Chase format.

  15. NASCAR AMERICA: Jimmie Johnson on “flying under the radar” (VIDEO)

    Oct 1, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

    Sylvania 300 - Qualifying Getty Images

    Jimmie Johnson not a fan of the “under the radar” terminology.

  16. NASCAR Truck penalty for No. 20 team upheld

    Oct 1, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT

    nascarlogo

    A P2 penalty issued to No. 20 NASCAR Truck team upheld after appeal.

  17. Caterham denies future is at risk despite goods being seized

    Oct 1, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    Caterham Getty Images

    Bailiffs seize goods at Leafield, but Caterham issues a statement saying that it is business as usual.

  18. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 pm ET — All 12 drivers in Chase Contenders Round

    Oct 1, 2014, 3:17 PM EDT

    141001-NASCAR-AMERICA

    Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America goes in-depth with all 12 drivers in Round 2 of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, also known as the Contenders Round.

  19. Report: Australian-owned team, driver and sponsor to debut in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2015

    Oct 1, 2014, 2:10 PM EDT

    NCWTS logo

    While Marcos Ambrose is returning to his native Australia after this season, a new Australian-owned team is set to make its debut in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series next season, complete with an Australian-born driver and Aussie primary sponsor.

  20. Bill Elliott makes awesome $4.2 million real estate deal

    Oct 1, 2014, 1:53 PM EDT

    (Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Bill Elliott figured real estate would be a good investment many years ago, and did that belief ever pay off for the soon-to-be NASCAR Hall of Famer.

Video from NASCAR America

Drivers discuss new Chase format
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (1597)
  2. K. Harvick (1493)
  3. K. Busch (1353)
  4. J. Coulter (1212)
  5. R. Blaney (1164)