The DEWALT Power Tools team began the Talladega 500 on Sunday in the 40th position. Despite the type of racing Talladega brings forth, Kenseth and crew chief Robbie Reiser were both fairly disappointed with the qualifying effort. "In reality, it...
The DEWALT Power Tools team began the Talladega 500 on Sunday in the 40th position. Despite the type of racing Talladega brings forth, Kenseth and crew chief Robbie Reiser were both fairly disappointed with the qualifying effort.
"In reality, it really does not matter where you qualify here," stated Kenseth in a post-qualifying interview. "Starting from the back will not effect our effort here because of the draft and the areo package. I just wish we were faster than that. I guess we'll keep working on it."
Once the green flag flew on Sunday, the race remained incident free all day. The DEWALT team made three pit stops on laps 55, 102, and 154. Air pressure adjustments were made on each stop because Kenseth felt the car was tight. The DEWALT pit crew made excellent pit stops, helping Kenseth maintain track position.
Working his way up from the back of the field, it was not long before Kenseth took the lead on lap 50. After pit stops circled around Kenseth, reclaimed the lead again on lap 80. His car was strong on the bottom, but it was not long before a train of cars drafting on the high side of the track blew by. Even though he was not in the lead, Kenseth remained a force to contend with for a majority of the race.
Kenseth was in striking distance for the win with 28 to go. However, when it comes to the draft, the car with the best run and most help from behind gets to the front. In the last 20 laps of the 188 lap event, Kenseth was as far back in the pack as 24th position, and as high as 9th. There were 29 cars on the lead lap battling for position on the last lap. They all crossed the finish line safely and Kenseth was 19th.
Quoting Driver Matt Kenseth: "The only strategy we used today really was not to wreck. For a while there we had a good car and we could stay up front pretty good with the leaders, but everybody could. Everybody was pretty even. There were a few cars that were a little bit slower than the rest and there were a few guys that were a little wilder than the rest, but other than that -- it's not racing at all. We just rode around and hung on. It was good nobody got hurt, but other than that, for me, it's not much of a race. It's a good race for the fans to watch, but we're not really racing out there. We're just kind of riding around."
Crew Chief Robbie Reiser:
"All in all that was a pretty good run for us. We were pretty strong for most of the day and got shuffled there in the closing laps. It was a safe race, and that is what matters right now. The DEWALT car ran well, we hardly touched the thing all day."
What's up next?
Kenseth and the DEWALT team will spend the next few days at Sears Point testing for the upcoming June race. Then the NASCAR Winston Cup Series heads to California Motor Speedway in Fontana. Qualifying will take place Friday, April 27th. The NAPA Auto Parts 500 begins at 2:00 p.m. EST Sunday, April 29th.