LOUDON, N.H. (July 23, 2001) -- The No. 17 DEWALT Tools team powered by driver Matt Kenseth, battled an ill handling race car and tough side by side racing for 300 laps at the "Magic Mile" to finish 16th in the New England 300. The DEWALT team...
LOUDON, N.H. (July 23, 2001) -- The No. 17 DEWALT Tools team powered by driver Matt Kenseth, battled an ill handling race car and tough side by side racing for 300 laps at the "Magic Mile" to finish 16th in the New England 300.
The DEWALT team ran well in practice sessions on Friday and Saturday. They posted a 21st place effort on Pole Day in Loudon. "That's good for us," said Kenseth in a post qualifying interview. "I'm happy with that. That's what we ran in practice. We were just too loose in practice for the oddball setup we had for qualifying, so that was a decent lap for us."
Kenseth and the team knew when it came time for racing, it would be hard to pass other cars due to the configuration of the track and starting in the middle of the field. They would have to take pit strategy into account for track position.
Not long after the green flag flew, Kenseth complained the No. 17 car was tight. Crew chief Robbie Reiser and the team attempted to make adjustments to the car in an effort to make it handle better. Unfortunately, mistakes in the pits cost the No. 17 team dearly as the gas catch can remained in the car when Kenseth pulled away on a two tire pit stop. Kenseth had to come back in for the crew to remove the can, forfeiting the track position he gained.
Late race cautions proved to be advantageous to Kenseth and his crew, as it forced the field together for restarts. "We got lucky with those cautions," stated Kenseth. "It's easy to go a lap down here pretty fast."
When the leader took the checkered flag, Kenseth was in the 16th position.
"This was not a good day for this team," said Kenseth. "The car was tight and I really felt like I could not get going in the corners. Mistakes in the pits cost us as well. We ran good at Pocono last time so hopefully we'll go there and get it together."
Kenseth and the No. 17 team will test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Tuesday, July 24th and 25th in anticipation of the upcoming Brickyard 400. The next stop on the Winston Cup circuit is Pocono Raceway.