DOVER, Del. (September 24, 2001) -- Matt Kenseth and the DEWALT Power Tools Racing team are scratching their heads the day after the MBNA Cal Ripken, Jr. 400, wondering what has gone so wrong with the 2001 season.
Kenseth and the crew struggled to find the right combination and setup all weekend at Dover. For the driver who had completed all put two laps at the Monster Mile in five Winston Cup starts, taking another provisional starting position was just unacceptable. The only explanation for the performance in qualifying was that the car had a loose condition.
When the green flag dropped after emotional and patriotic opening ceremonies, Kenseth knew he had to get to the front. The car was very loose, making it hard to Kenseth to accelerate coming off of the corners, which is crucial to success at Dover. The team worked on the car making wedge adjustments, track bar adjustments, air pressure adjustments, and closing the shocks on the No. 17 car. Kenseth made his way as high as 19th during the event.
Just past halfway into the race, the water temperature gauge then began to fluctuate, and Kenseth began overheating. He was forced to bring his car to pit road to allow the team to hook up the water cooler, and adjust the pressure. It cost Kenseth 10 laps.
The No. 17 team crossed the finish line in 29th position. "I'm real disappointed," stated Kenseth. "That just isn't us. It seems like it's been us lately, but it's not how good we can be."
The DEWALT team moves into the 15th position in the championship point standings, and will head to the Kansas Speedway next weekend.