CONCORD, NC (October 7, 2001) - Matt Kenseth and the DEWALT Racing team bounced back from a 32nd place qualifying effort to a respectable 12th place finish. However, the laps between the first and last were filled with many ups and downs. When...
CONCORD, NC (October 7, 2001) - Matt Kenseth and the DEWALT Racing team bounced back from a 32nd place qualifying effort to a respectable 12th place finish. However, the laps between the first and last were filled with many ups and downs.
When the green flag dropped signaling the start of the UAW-GM 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Kenseth fell as low as 38th in the field. The tires on the No. 17 began to warm up and Kenseth began to claw his way forward.
An early race caution gave the DEWALT crew an opportunity to work on the car. Kenseth said it was tight. He and crew chief Robbie Reiser made the decision to take two right side tires for the first stop to gain track position. Kenseth entered pit road 32nd and went back out onto the racetrack 17th.
Kenseth held onto the track position, but with each pit stop came more changes. Then on lap 111 while pitting under green flag conditions, the No. 17 was on pit road when the caution flag flew. Kenseth was not able to get off of pit road before the leader of the race crossed the start finish line, so the DEWALT team lost a lap.
Lapped cars start on the inside row next to the leaders. Kenseth defended his position in front of the leaders and when a caution came out on lap 151, Kenseth got his lap back.
In the 23rd position on the restart, Kenseth powered his way up to the 14th position. The No. 17 car was still extremely tight, so the team put a half of a spring rubber in the right rear spring. Before it was all said and done, they would put a second piece of rubber in the same spring.
The highlight of the day came when Kenseth lead on lap 296, collecting five bonus points before heading to pit road for the last pit stop of the day on lap 297.
Kenseth finished the day in the 12th position behind race winner Sterling Marlin. Overall, it was a great effort for the team who has experienced their share of bad luck. From pit road to Mike Calinoff on the spotter stand, the finish was a team effort.
"It's actually amazing we finished that well," said Kenseth. "It was a disappointing run for us today because early on we went down a lap and then got it back. We fought our way up through the middle of the pack, even though I was tight as anything all day. The guys did a great job in the pits, otherwise, we would have been worse."
Kenseth and the team are heading to Rockingham to test this week for the upcoming race in November. The next race on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series circuit is Martinsville Speedway, where Kenseth placed sixth in the spring.