Kenseth Races to 4th-Place Finish at Monster Mile Kenseth earns fourth top-five finish of season, third straight top 10 DOVER, DEL. (May 31, 2009) -- Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT team posted another strong outing Sunday, finishing fourth...
Kenseth Races to 4th-Place Finish at Monster Mile
Kenseth earns fourth top-five finish of season, third straight top 10
DOVER, DEL. (May 31, 2009) -- Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT team posted another strong outing Sunday, finishing fourth in the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway. The finish was Kenseth's third consecutive top-10 and his fourth top-five of the season.
"It was a good run for the whole DEWALT team," said Kenseth. "We were kind of up and down all day. We didn't have anything that could compete with Jimmie. He had everybody covered, but we had a pretty good car and came home fourth. We couldn't quite get it right, but it was pretty decent."
Running fifth, Kenseth and crew chief Drew Blickensderfer opted for four tires on their final stop under caution on lap 366, and returned to field in eighth position when the field went green with 31 laps remaining. The move paid off, as the fresh rubber proved beneficial with Kenseth driving his No. 17 DEWALT Fusion back to fourth place by race's end.
"The last three or four weeks we've kind of been on the upswing a little bit," said Kenseth. "We had a top 10 at Charlotte and were 10th at Darlington, so we've been doing better. It was good for us to get a good finish here today."
Kenseth started the race 14th after a solid qualifying outing on Friday, but fell back to 19th early with a loose handling car. The team used a myriad of adjustments during the first three stops and finally hit on the handling during the third stop on lap 120. Kenseth restarted in 17th on lap 122 and drove all the way to eighth by the time caution was called on lap 164.
Kenseth moved all the way to second position by lap 247 and ran there for the next 29 laps before pitting under caution on lap 277, where the No. 17 over the wall crew put the No. 17 out in the lead when the field went green on lap 280.
Kenseth led for the next seven laps, but was ultimately overtaken by eventual race winner Jimmie Johnson. Still he drove his No. 17 Ford Fusion inside the top five for the majority of the remaining 120 laps.
The finish was Kenseth's eighth top-five and 13 top-10 finish in 21 Sprint Cup starts at Dover. With the finish, Kenseth moved up one spot to eighth in the Sprint Cup point standings.
The team returns to action next week at Pocono Raceway, where Kenseth has finished top 10 in his last three races in the spring. The 500-mile event is set for 2:00 p.m. EDT and will be televised live on TNT.