Kenseth, No. 17 DEWALT Team Notch Top-10 Finish at Brickyard 400 INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 26, 2009) -- Matt Kenseth moved into 10th place with only 23 laps to go in Sunday's Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The veteran was...
Kenseth, No. 17 DEWALT Team Notch Top-10 Finish at Brickyard 400
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 26, 2009) -- Matt Kenseth moved into 10th place with only 23 laps to go in Sunday's Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The veteran was able to hold position with his No. 17 DEWALT FORD for the remaining laps, running to his eighth top-10 finish of the season. The finish capped a solid performance where -- despite a 'loose' handling car - the team steadily improved position throughout the race.
"I'm happy with the finish," said Kenseth after the race. "I wish we could have run better, but I'm happy with a top 10. We fought loose most of the day and we got a little bit better at the end. We got the balance of the car a little better. We just kept sneaking up on it and we never got it to drive exactly how I wanted, but we got it better where it was at least competitive with the cars I was around.
"Actually, today we probably finished a little better than we ran," added Kenseth. "We had good pit stops and didn't have any problems and got a solid finish. We just have to get running better and get finishing better, but I'm certainly happy with 10th for how we've been doing lately."
Kenseth started the race 25th based on Saturday afternoon's qualifying session, and worked his way inside the top 20 by lap eight. Despite battling loose handling conditions for the entire race, the team was able to progress through the field with a combination of quick pit stops and timely pit strategy.
After the team's second pit stop on lap 58, Kenseth and the DEWALT Team had moved his No. 17 Fusion to 16th. The next stop moved the team to 13th and the fourth and final stop put Kenseth back on the track in 11th position with 15 laps remaining in the race.
"It was really hard to pass out there today," added Kenseth. ."For me it was next to impossible to get around anyone. Except for the lead couple of cars, wherever you were on the track is about where you could run for lap times.
"You could catch a car and get two, or three car lengths from it and then you'd just kind of stall out and sit there," said Kenseth. "But, we had some good pit stops and good pit strategy that got us in front of four, or five guys and we were able to maintain that until the end."
With the finish, Kenseth remains in 12th position in the Sprint Cup point standings, the final spot for the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup. With six races remaining before the Chase cutoff point, Kenseth opened up his lead over 13th to 68 points; He trails 11th by 16 points and sixth position by only 89 points. In what is shaping up to be a heated points battle, just 110 separates ninth position and 13th place (the first place outside the Chase).
The finish was Kenseth's sixth top 10 in 10 career starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and his fourth in his last five Brickyard events. It was his eighth top-10 finish of the season and his second in the last three races.
The series travels back to Pocono Raceway (Pa.) next weekend, where Kenseth and the No. 17 team finished 16th back in June, despite running virtually the entire race inside the top five, before losing out to fuel mileage late.