Kenseth, No. 17 DEWALT Team Finish Third in Strong Outing at Dover DOVER, Del. (Sept. 27, 2009) -- Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT team used a combination of fast pit work and quick restarts to turn in a third-place finish in Sunday's AAA 400...
Kenseth, No. 17 DEWALT Team Finish Third in Strong Outing at Dover
DOVER, Del. (Sept. 27, 2009) -- Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT team used a combination of fast pit work and quick restarts to turn in a third-place finish in Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. A trip to the Monster Mile of Dover could not have come at a better time for Kenseth and the team, who leave Delaware with their fourth consecutive top-five finish at the 1-mile track.
"It ended up being really good," said Kenseth in the post race press conference. "We didn't qualify very good, but we were really happy with our car. When the race started, I didn't think we were quite as good as we were yesterday, but we were able to have really good pit stops.
"We got most of our position through pit stops and restarts," added Kenseth. "I kept getting in the proper lane on restarts and my car would run for two laps, and then I'd get two or three spots, and you had to do it right there because there weren't many people that could pass very good. So, we had a nice, solid day on pit road, and the car was okay, and we were able to get a good finish out of it."
The No. 17 pit crew picked up almost 10 positions on pit road, while Kenseth gained positions on several restarts in route to the team's first top-five finish in the last 15 races. Kenseth started the race 23rd based on Friday's qualifying session, but entered the race happy with his No. 17 Ford after two practice sessions on Saturday.
A 13-second stop under caution on lap 165 gained the team two positions and put Kenseth inside the top 10 for the first time of the race when the field went green three laps later. The team gained two more positions on the next stop and Kenseth maneuvered his way inside the top five on lap 278 just after the restart.
It was a theme that would prove common for the No. 17 team throughout the race, as they would not run outside the top-five for the remaining 122 laps of the 400 lap event. Kenseth restarted for the final time in second position on lap 373 after the race's ninth and final caution.
The handling of Kenseth's Ford Fusion tightened and he was unable to gain ground on eventual race winner Jimmie Johnson after the restart. He held second position for the next 12 laps, before giving it up to Mark Martin on lap 385, and he was able to hold down third for the remaining 15 laps of the race.
The team returns to action next week at Kansas Speedway, where Kenseth finished fifth last season.