JOLIET, Ill. (July 15, 2002) -- The DEWALT Racing team showed potential early on in the Tropicana 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday. Matt Kenseth motored from a 16th place starting position to the lead, but troubles plagued the No. 17 car...
JOLIET, Ill. (July 15, 2002) -- The DEWALT Racing team showed potential early on in the Tropicana 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday. Matt Kenseth motored from a 16th place starting position to the lead, but troubles plagued the No. 17 car and they finished in 14th position.
Kenseth was in the top 15 of the speed charts all weekend long. Driving the car that finished third in the Winston and second in the Coca Cola 600, Kenseth knew his knack for the 1.5 mile tracks would pay off.
Last year, the team took a provisional starting position (37th) and battled to 7th at the finish. Kenseth hoped to better that position, and grab his fourth win of the season at a track close to his home state of Wisconsin.
The DEWALT car was loose early on, so the team made adjustments in the pits early on. The car came around to Kenseth's liking, and he began to move up in the field.
On lap 147 Kenseth came into the pits third, and a 14.18 second pit stop sent him out with the lead. Unfortunately, Kenseth dropped a cylinder and also had a bad set of tires - and he began to lose ground rapidly. The car was so tight, Kenseth did all he could to keep from blowing a tire. That was the beginning of the end for the DEWALT team at Chicago.
"I'm really disappointed about today," said Kenseth after the race. "We came here with a top-5 car, and left with 14th. I have no idea why everything happened like that, but I guess we will take the car back to the shop and see what happened."
Kenseth drooped to 10th in the point standings. He is 264 points behind leader Sterling Marlin.
On a lighter note, the DEWALT crew became the first recipients of The Golden Benny Award. NBC commentator Benny Parsons has sent out a challenge to all pit crews calling for performance and fast pit stops. The DEWALT crew received the award for their outstanding and consistent work in the pits, helping Matt Kenseth to three wins this season.
After two days of testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kenseth and the boys will head to New Hampshire International Speedway for 1- mile flat track racing.