Reigning Cup series champion Matt Kenseth checked out to an almost three second lead over the field to score his second win of the season. His first victory was at Rockingham, round two for the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Race...
Reigning Cup series champion Matt Kenseth checked out to an almost three second lead over the field to score his second win of the season. His first victory was at Rockingham, round two for the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.
"We won only one race last year and have come out of the box quicker this year" commented Kenseth. "Robbie (Reiser, crew chief) and everybody that figured out these cars over the winter when they built them under these new rules did a great job."
An elated Kenseth continued, "My cars are running really balanced. My engines are awesome with Jack (Roush) and Robert's (Yates) deal that they put together with Ford Racing. It's unbelievable. We've just got unbelievable equipment and an unbelievable team."
The break of the race for Kenseth came on lap 95, when he steered the No. 17 Roush Ford into the lead. Once Kenseth was out front, he was clearly the class of the field. He lost some ground late in the race when he was beat out of the pits on lap 190 by Kevin Harvick, moving him to fifth.
Kenseth was undeniable as he picked off the competition one by one until he regained the catbird seat on lap 230. He sailed in front of the field, untouchable, for the final 37 circuits.
For Kasey Kahne, it was d?j? vu, today's polesitter again finished second to Kenseth. The duo earned the same finishing order last weekend at Rockingham. It's a huge kudos for Kahne to score back to back second place finishes as a rookie of the year candidate within the first three events of the season.
"I've never been in the media center four times in one weekend," laughed Kahne. "I think things are going pretty good for us."
Tony Stewart finished third, "It was good, and it was fun today. There was no way I could catch Matt Kenseth today, he was awesome."
"I was really pleased," continued Stewart. "You could race guys today, there were two grooves all around. We needed to come to Vegas and have a good run. We had a bad race at Rockingham and I think the weight has been lifted off this teams shoulders. We just missed it at Rockingham."
Jamie McMurray and Mark Martin completed the top five.
"A long green at the end is what the doctor ordered for this machine," said Martin. "We had a good, long setup in it, we were really strong at the end of the run. It was easy to pass at the end, but we didn't get enough long runs."
The 8 team changed shocks, springs and a sway bar. They added wedge and took out wedge, but ultimately the car was rubbish. Finally, when they could not improve their position, they parked the Bud Chevy. He finished 35th.
Kevin Harvick also took a tumble on the series leader board. Harvick won the Busch race on Saturday and was expected to be a strong contender. Harvick was running second with five laps to go when the No. 29 RCR Chevy ran out of gas. The miscalculation cost Harvick, the 21st place result dropped him from third to sixth in the standings.
Kenseth climbed to the top of the charts leading Stewart by 88 points. Elliott Sadler, Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch complete the top five in championship rankings.
Notably, Kyle Busch was unexceptional in his first ever career Cup series start. He hit the wall on lap 2 and finished 42nd.