Kenseth Finishes 23rd in Rain Shortened New Hampshire Race LOUDON, N.H. (June 28, 2009) -- Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT team were forced to settle for a 23rd-place finish as rainfall brought and abrupt end to the weekend's Sprint Cup race...
Kenseth Finishes 23rd in Rain Shortened New Hampshire Race
LOUDON, N.H. (June 28, 2009) -- Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT team were forced to settle for a 23rd-place finish as rainfall brought and abrupt end to the weekend's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Kenseth started the race 10th (based on points after qualifying was rained out on Friday) and ran as high as second, but was caught in 23rd position when heavy rainfall forced the premature end after only 273 of the scheduled 301 laps of the race.
"We ended up on the wrong end of the rain this time," said Kenseth after the race. "We really weren't as good as we needed to be and the weather fell wrong for us and that hurt our finish in the end."
Working off a different pit cycle, Kenseth had moved all the way to the second position, before pitting under green for fuel and tires on lap 245. He returned to the field in 25th position; one lap down to the leader. When race leader Ryan Newman, who was attempting to wait out the rainfall, pitted a few laps later, Kenseth returned to the lead lap in 21st position.
The rain began to fall moments later, with the race's 11th and final caution called on lap 266 for wet track conditions. The team gambled and pitted under caution on lap 268, but the race would be red flagged and eventually called just moments later as the rainfall began to pick up.
Kenseth battled a tight car for much of the early going of the race. He started 10th and moved to eighth before falling back to 13th by lap 11. He would run the majority of the race, between 12th and 17th positions, continuing to struggle with the car's handling throughout the event.
Kenseth remains 10th in the Sprint Cup point standings; 470 points outside of first and only two points behind ninth.
The team returns to action next week at Daytona International Speedway, where Kenseth and the team won the season-opening Daytona 500 earlier this season. Kenseth has finished top five in three of his last six starts at DIS.