DOVER, Del. (September 22, 2002) -- Matt Kenseth added another top five to his stat sheet this weekend as he finished an impressive fourth in the MBNA All-American Heroes 400 at Dover International Speedway. Kenseth started the 400 mile event in...
DOVER, Del. (September 22, 2002) -- Matt Kenseth added another top five to his stat sheet this weekend as he finished an impressive fourth in the MBNA All-American Heroes 400 at Dover International Speedway.
Kenseth started the 400 mile event in 17th position. He did not have a good practice session on Saturday, and the team was skeptical of what would unfold during the race. Crew chief Robbie Reiser told the team to be optimistic, because there would be plenty of opportunities to adjust on the car during the 400 mile event.
Within the first 15 laps, Kenseth told Reiser the car was really loose. An early wreck on lap 8 between Ward Burton and Jerry Nadeau brought out the first caution. The DEWALT crew made an air pressure and track bar adjustment on the pit stop in 14.66 seconds. Kenseth was running 13th in the field when the race restarted.
The handling of the car went away fast, and Kenseth said the car was so loose on lap 47 that he could barely press on the gas pedal. The 17 crew made another adjustment to the car on lap 55 with a 14.31 second pit stop.
Kenseth impressed his team when the Todd Bodine spun directly in front of him on the front stretch, causing Jeff Gordon to spin as well on lap 67. He pitted the car again on lap 68 and the team scored a 14.27 second stop.
Starting with lap 70, Kenseth started his charge through the field. During another pit stop under caution on lap 117, the DEWALT boys picked up four positions on pit road with their four tire stop of 14.42 seconds.
Kenseth moved up to ninth on lap 146. The car was a little bit tight now, but according to Matt, it was "pretty decent". That was short lived because by lap 193 he was both tight and loose, and once again having problems turning the car.
The team made final adjustments under caution with 70 laps to go, and Kenseth once again charged forward. Running lap times as fast as the leader and eventual winner, Jimmie Johnson, Kenseth passed Tony Stewart on lap 372 for fourth, and crossed the finish line in the same position.
"That was a great run for this team," said Kenseth. "We had a bad car early on, and it just got worse before it got better. We all worked hard today and got a good finish. I am really proud of this DEWALT Team."
Kenseth moved to eighth in the point standings, and is only ten points from seventh place. There were four Roush Racing cars in the top-10 on Sunday.
Next weekend the Winston Cup Series heads to Kansas Speedway.