BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 26, 2001) -- Matt Kenseth and the DEWALT Power Tools Racing team may have started in the back, but were headed to the front when a crash on lap 395 ended the night early. Kenseth was the 11th fastest car in practice on ...
BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 26, 2001) -- Matt Kenseth and the DEWALT Power Tools Racing team may have started in the back, but were headed to the front when a crash on lap 395 ended the night early.
Kenseth was the 11th fastest car in practice on Friday. The team decided to loosen the car up for qualifying in an effort to make the No. 17 even better. When Kenseth ran his two laps, the car actually scraped the wall, and he would have to start 38th for the race.
Although they were disappointed, they were not going to give up. The team felt they had a car capable of running in the front, and would rely on pit stop performance and strategy to gain momentum and get to the front.
When the green flag dropped signifying the beginning of the event, Kenseth said the car was tight. The team brought the car to the attention of the crew and they loosened it up. Typical Bristol tight-knit racing produced many wrecks and cautions, and it didn't take long for the DEWALT car to show signs of battle.
Eventually, Kenseth pulled himself up into the top 15 and was running lap times consistent with the leaders. Unfortunately, his good run ended abruptly on lap 395 when the No. 17 car tangled with the No. 09 and sent Kenseth hard into the wall. Thankfully Kenseth was unhurt, but the No. 17 car was damaged beyond repair. The team ended the Sharpie 500 in the 33rd position.
"Dave Blaney and I were racing some lapped cars," explained Kenseth after the crash. "Casey Atwood and a couple of were cars side-by-side and Blaney went under them three-wide. I tried following him off of four and (Geoffrey) Bodine came down a little bit and it was in the bad part of the corner. I hit him in the door in the right-front and it just spun me out."
Kenseth and the team will regroup and head to Darlington for the Southern 500 Labor Day weekend. The DEWALT team is now 14th in the point standings.