Kansas City, Kan. (September 30, 2001) -- How quickly good fortune can change. Matt Kenseth and the DEWALT team will have to wait yet another week for their first win of the 2001 season. After starting the race in the 13th position, Kenseth blew a...
Kansas City, Kan. (September 30, 2001) -- How quickly good fortune can change. Matt Kenseth and the DEWALT team will have to wait yet another week for their first win of the 2001 season. After starting the race in the 13th position, Kenseth blew a right front tire while running fifth, causing a crash that would end his day early.
Kenseth and the team were extremely happy with the performance of the No. 17 car throughout the entire weekend. When the green flag dropped, it only took 13 laps for trouble to strike. Kenseth ran over something on the track, puncturing the right rear tire. He had to come into the pits where the team changed right side tires, and he lost a lap on pit road.
Crew chief Robbie Reiser kept the morale up on pit road when he said, "We have a lot more racing to do here today. Let's get it back."
On the track, Kenseth got lucky. Catching cautions flags, and powering his way back to the front, he found himself back on the lead lap on lap 52. From there, he continued his stomp forward and soon was racing in the top 10.
Kenseth held his own, and gained on the leaders with each passing lap. The DEWALT crew had flawless pit stops, advancing Kenseth in the field every time. Soon he found himself in the lead at the halfway point of the race.
With the 267 lap event in the homestretch, Kenseth was running in the fifth position. As he raced into turn two on lap 238, the right front tire exploded, sending Kenseth hard into the wall. The heavily damaged No. 17 car then spun into oncoming traffic before coming to rest in the grass.
Kenseth was shaken up, but fortunately not injured.
"We blew a right-front tire," said Kenseth as he exited the infield care center. "We had a flat earlier in the race and overcame that pretty well, only to have this happen. That hit hurt. I know it probably looked bad, and it was hard. I just wanted to get stopped and get out of there.
"We ran really well today. I think we had a top-five car when we were in the right position, but we just don't have any luck."
Kenseth and the team will head to Lowe's Motor Speedway next weekend, the site of their first Winston Cup win, in hopes of turning their luck around. They remain 15th in the championship point standings.