DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 8, 2001) - Matt Kenseth and the DEWALT Power Tools team had an impressive run under the lights at Daytona International Speedway in the running of the Pepsi 400. Kenseth started the race 15th, marking his season best ...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 8, 2001) - Matt Kenseth and the DEWALT Power Tools team had an impressive run under the lights at Daytona International Speedway in the running of the Pepsi 400. Kenseth started the race 15th, marking his season best qualifying effort but was relegated to a 17th place finish when the checkered flag flew.
Shortly after the start of the 400-mile event, Kenseth told crew chief Robbie Reiser the car was loose in the center of the corner, and he was taking the high line to keep the car on the track. The No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Ford ran better on older tires as Kenseth soon demonstrated by moving into the top-10.
When Kenseth came into the pits on lap 53 as the leader -- a 14 second pit stop helped him maintain that lead. The second pit stop of the night was equally impressive advancing Kenseth into the top-5 of the field.
As the majority of the laps of the Pepsi 400 were run under the green flag, fuel mileage was going to be a factor in the outcome. Kenseth was one of the many cars needing a splash of fuel to make it to the finish. A caution flag from a multiple car accident with less than 20 laps to go allowed the DEWALT team to bring Kenseth into the pits for fresh tires and fuel.
Kenseth was running 5th when he brought the car onto pit road on lap 146. Unfortunately, the No. 15 car slid through Kenseth's pit, causing the team to lose their footing. They had to jump back to avoid being hit by the other car and the result was a 23 second pit stop. Kenseth went back out onto the track in 20th position. Two team members were brushed by the car but one was injured in the incident.
"That was a real unfortunate situation," stated Kenseth after the event. "We had a top-5 car here tonight. That 15 car slid though our pit and we lost a lot of positions. That ruined a top five finish. We had awesome pit stops and an incredible car. It's unfortunate our finish didn't reflect how good we really were.
"I'm so happy for Dale, Jr. That was a great win and I congratulate him and the whole 8 team. That is awesome."
The No. 17 team managed to finish 17th. They maintain the 12th place in the championship point standings. The team will head to Chicagoland Speedway for its inaugural event next weekend.