NAPA Auto Parts 500 California Motor Speedway =20= Date: 4/29/01 Start: 23rd Finish: 17th Laps: 250/250 Point Standings: 16th Race Recap: 17th Place for the DEWALT No. 17 Matt Kenseth and the...
NAPA Auto Parts 500
California Motor Speedway =20=
Point Standings: 16th
Race Recap: 17th Place for the DEWALT No. 17
Matt Kenseth and the DEWALT team encountered trials and tribulations throughout the weekend in California. On a track where Kenseth usually dominates, he was unable to keep the streak of top three finishes alive.
The DEWALT Power Tools team began the NAPA Auto Parts 500 on Sunday in the 23rd position. Kenseth was satisfied with the qualifying effort as it was the fastest lap they ran at that point.
During final practice, Kenseth and Reiser touched on something they thought would make the car more competitive. Feeling confident, they felt they had the car to beat prior to the race.
When the green flag flew to start the event, Kenseth held on in the 23rd position. He radioed in that the car was handling really well, but was slow.
As the run wore on, the car became very loose and the No. 17 continued to be ill handling all day.
In an effort to fix loose condition, Kenseth and Reiser decided to make air pressure, track bar, and wedge adjustments in an attempt to tighten the car up. The DEWALT pit crew continued to turn in great performances as they serviced the No. 17 sometimes in 14 second range, advancing Kenseth in the field.
With 10 to go, Kenseth began to pass cars and nudge his way into the 17th position for the finish. It was a tough day for the DEWALT team, but they salvaged a top-20 finish. The team picked up two spots in the championship point standings from 18th to 16th.
Quoting Driver Matt Kenseth:
"I have no idea what was so wrong out there. We worked on that car all day long and that was the best I could do. I just don't understand. It was so loose. We may have picked up two positions in the points, but I am not happy with that at all."
Quoting Crew Chief Robbie Reiser:
"No matter what the outcome of today was, these guys did an incredible job on pit road. My hat's off to them."
What's up next?
The NASCAR Winston Cup Series heads to Richmond to race for the first time this season under the lights. Qualifying for the Pontiac Excitement 400 will take place Friday, May 4th at 3:30 p.m. EST. The competition begins on Saturday, May 5th at 8:00 pm. EST.