Kenseth unstoppable in race for championship

Matt Kenseth extended his lead in the race for the championship last weekend at Darlington with a strong 14th place finish. Oddly, last weekends top-15 is inconsistent for the No. 17 team. In the 25 races completed this year, Kenseth has amassed...

Matt Kenseth extended his lead in the race for the championship last weekend at Darlington with a strong 14th place finish. Oddly, last weekends top-15 is inconsistent for the No. 17 team. In the 25 races completed this year, Kenseth has amassed 19 top-ten's, one victory, and has not finished worse then 22nd.

Kenseth extended his view from the top of the championship ladder, to 389 points over Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Earnhardt, encountered misfortunes at Darlington -- finishing 25th, and with that saw his hopes of a first series title slip further down the drain.

Four-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon has not fared much better. In the last six races, he has charted five results of 28th or worse. The several weeks of bad luck, have relegated Team 24 to fifth in standings; an impossible 591 points shy of Kenseth.

At this point in the season, it looks unlikely that any of the hard charging racers in the top five will be able to bridge the wide margin Kenseth has created; and certainly not this weekend at Richmond where Kenseth is the defending winner of this event.

In addition to his victory last year, in his last seven events at the ¾- mile raceway, Kenseth has reaped four top-tens.

Kenseth has led the series standings since the close of the fourth race of the season at Atlanta, and has not slipped from that spot in 22 events. While Gordon and Earnhardt have struggled to find consistency within their teams, Kenseth has practically run away with the last Winston Cup series title.

Now the top five opponents have someone to new to worry about -- Kevin Harvick. Harvick has been on a hot streak over the last five races, landing one win and five top-five finishes. Harvick lurks just 26 points short of second place's Dale Earnhardt, Jr. In five starts at Richmond, the No. 29 Chevy has two top-ten results, including second place at this race in 2001.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth