LOUDON, NH (September 15, 2002) -- Matt Kenseth scored his 14th top-10 of the season by finishing tenth in the New Hampshire 300 on Sunday. The rain-shortened event was won by rookie Ryan Newman, who showed the way for 143 of the 207...
LOUDON, NH (September 15, 2002) -- Matt Kenseth scored his 14th top-10 of the season by finishing tenth in the New Hampshire 300 on Sunday. The rain-shortened event was won by rookie Ryan Newman, who showed the way for 143 of the 207 laps.
Kenseth and the team went back to New Hampshire International Speedway with the same car they dominated the race with in July, but ended up 33rd because of a flat tire. They qualified in 17th position and were in the top-10 during practice sessions throughout the weekend.
Threatening skies played into race strategy, and the first rain drops fell only 19 laps into the race. Kenseth was in 21st position and decided to bring the car into the pits on lap 20 for his DEWALT crew to change tires and pull a spring rubber because the car was tight.
After an hour of waiting, the track was dry and the field went back to green flag racing on lap 22. Kenseth restarted the race in 29th position, but soon worked his way up to 20th. He told crew chief Robbie Reiser the car was coming around and would be pretty good on the long run.
The DEWALT crew changed four tires again on lap 75 and sent Kenseth back out on the track in 15th position. Even though Kenseth told Reiser it was hard to pass cars, he moved up into the top-10 by lap 135.
On lap 197, it started to rain again, and a caution flag flew. The field stayed out on the track under caution until the checkered flags waved on lap 207. Kenseth finished 10th.
"We just could not pass out there," said Kenseth on the radio after the race. "I am not sure if it was the car or the track or who I was behind, but we just could not get up there. It's disappointing because we had a great car in practice, but something changed."
After 27 of 36 events, the Kenseth and the DEWALT team are ninth in the point standings, 220 behind leader and teammate Mark Martin. Next week the Winston Cup Series heads to Dover, the site of Kenseth's first career start and pole.