DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 7, 2002) -- Matt Kenseth and his DEWALT team have had a tough season when it comes to restrictor plate racing. For the third time in as many events on a superspeedway, Kenseth, who was racing for the No Bull Winston ...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 7, 2002) -- Matt Kenseth and his DEWALT team have had a tough season when it comes to restrictor plate racing. For the third time in as many events on a superspeedway, Kenseth, who was racing for the No Bull Winston Million, was collected in a wreck on lap 135 and finished 30th.
The DEWALT team struggled during qualifying and was forced to use a provisional starting position. Starting in the 38th place on the starting grid the DEWALT team planned to use the draft to their advantage, and rely on good pit stops to gain track position. Unfortunately, heavy rain and thunderstorms throughout the weekend limited the NASCAR Winston Cup Series to very little track time.
Trouble on the track came on lap 1 when Kyle Petty lost momentum in front of Kenseth. To avoid hitting Petty, Kenseth went to the middle of the track and tangled with Elliott Sadler and Tony Stewart. Stewart got the worst of it and had to take his car behind the wall, while Kenseth and Sadler suffered sheet metal damage. The DEWALT team brought Kenseth in to the pits to fix the damage and keep him in contention.
After suffering the aerodynamic damage, Kenseth's car was loose. The team made air pressure and track bar adjustments to combat the condition, and Kenseth maintained his position in the top-20.
As the race wore on, Kenseth moved up to 16th place and was running in a draft that was catching the top-10. A late race caution bunched up the field for the shoot to the finish. With 25 laps to go Kenseth was in the 16th position when Jeff Burton and Dale Jarrett wrecked in front of the field. Fifteen cars were collected in all, as the No. 17 hit the No. 88 car of Jarrett head on as Jarrett spun across the track.
The DEWALT Team brought the car into the garage, cut off the nose, and replaced the radiator in just 7 laps. The race restarted on lap 144 and Kenseth finished in 30th.
"We are really disappointed with the race results," said Kenseth. "We didn't have a great car to begin with, but it was pretty fast in the draft, even after the sheet metal damage. We need to figure out these restrictor plate races at some point this year, because we have not finished one without tearing up a car. The guys did a great job tonight."
Kenseth remains 8th in the points, but is now 275 behind leader Sterling Marlin. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series heads to Chicagoland Speedway next weekend for the Tropicana 400.