Kenseth breaks dry spell with Texas victory

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Kenseth breaks dry spell with Texas victory

By Amanda Vincent, NASCAR reporter

Story Highlights

  • Kenseth last victory was 2009 in Fontana
  • It was the 122nd NSCS win for Roush Fenway Racing
  • RFR dominated the weekend in NNS and NSCS

Kenseth turns in dominating NASCAR performance at Texas

Matt Kenseth said on Saturday night that he didn't know if he'd ever win a race again. But he made that statement in victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway following the Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup series race. The win snapped a 76-race losing streak for Kenseth.

"I haven't had something like this for a long time," Kenseth said. "It has been a long time."

Hopefully, we can carry this momentum back to victory lane a couple of times.

Matt Kenseth

The Roush Fenway Racing driver turned in a dominating performance, leading 169 laps of the 334-lap race. The Roush Fenway Racing organization, as a whole, dominated TMS all weekend. Carl Edwards pole and race win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night aside, RFR driver David Ragan scored his first career pole on Friday for Saturday night's race and was joined by two teammates in the top-four -- Edwards on the front row and Kenseth in fourth.

All four Roush cars spent a significant amount of time in the top-10 most of the race, with Kenseth usually leading the way.

"Hopefully, we can carry this momentum back to victory lane a couple of times," Kenseth said.

The race mostly consisted of long green flag runs, as the yellow flag waved only five times, the last time with 120 laps to go. The low number of cautions resulted in varying pit strategies and fuel gambles -- gambles that resulted in Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon running out of gas on the final lap.

The last two cautions, though, fell just a few laps apart, with the fourth caution coming out on lap 208 and the final one on lap 215. Having pitted recently, most teams opted to stay out during the last caution. Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch were among those who pitted.Matt Kenseth said on Saturday night that he didn't know if he'd ever win a race again. But he made that statement in victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway following the Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup series race. The win snapped a 76-race losing streak for Kenseth.

Matt Kenseth, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Matt Kenseth, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

"I haven't had something like this for a long time," Kenseth said. "It has been a long time."

Hopefully, we can carry this momentum back to victory lane a couple of times.

Matt Kenseth

The Roush Fenway Racing driver turned in a dominating performance, leading 169 laps of the 334-lap race. The Roush Fenway Racing organization, as a whole, dominated TMS all weekend. Carl Edwards pole and race win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night aside, RFR driver David Ragan scored his first career pole on Friday for Saturday night's race and was joined by two teammates in the top-four -- Edwards on the front row and Kenseth in fourth.

All four Roush cars spent a significant amount of time in the top-10 most of the race, with Kenseth usually leading the way.

"Hopefully, we can carry this momentum back to victory lane a couple of times," Kenseth said.

The race mostly consisted of long green flag runs, as the yellow flag waved only five times, the last time with 120 laps to go. The low number of cautions resulted in varying pit strategies and fuel gambles -- gambles that resulted in Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon running out of gas on the final lap.

The last two cautions, though, fell just a few laps apart, with the fourth caution coming out on lap 208 and the final one on lap 215. Having pitted recently, most teams opted to stay out during the last caution. Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch were among those who pitted.

When the field began cycling through green flag stops with about 85 laps to go, both Stewart and Busch decided to stay out, banking on another caution. That next caution never came. Losing a lot of time to cars with fresher tires, Busch eventually surrendered the lead to come down pit road.

Stewart stayed out several more laps to pit with 58 laps to go, thinking that he'd have enough fuel to go the rest of the way while everyone else would have to make one more stop. That plan started to backfire almost immediately when Stewart sped on pit road on that last stop, resulting in a pass-through penalty.

With everyone else having to make another stop, Stewart's crew chief, Darian Grubb, assured his driver that they'd still be okay.

When the rest of the field cycled through their final green flag stops with about 40 laps to go, Kenseth was able to pit and still come back onto the track ahead of Stewart, as a result of Stewart's pass-through penalty. Then- second-place runner Clint Bowyer also got out ahead of Stewart.

The front of the field got spaced out in the closing laps as a result of two consecutive cycles of green flag stops. In the final 10 laps, Kenseth held an eight-second lead over Bowyer, and Stewart was another seven seconds back.

With the field so spaced out, it was smooth sailing for Kenseth to the checkered flag and for Bowyer in second. Stewart ran out of gas and wound up finishing 12th in the final car on the lead lap.

Roush Fenway Racing continued its dominant Texas weekend by putting three cars in the top-four of the finishing order, the only exception being Bowyer. Edwards fought off a queasy stomach (a condition he blamed on a dinner his mother cooked) to finish third.

"I hate to throw my mom under the bus, but she cooked something last night that I don't think was too good," Edwards said after the race.

The third-highest finishing RFR driver, Greg Biffle, was fourth, overall.

"It was a great run for us," Biffle said. "We really felt like we had a faster car than that, but that is the positive thing -- we had a really fast car."

Paul Menard rounded out the top-five.

Race Results and current Championship Standings

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags ford, kenseth, roush fenway, sprint cup, tms