Kenseth, No. 17 Team Finish 25th at Richmond; Fall Short of Chase Berth RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 12, 2009) -- Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT Racing team finished 25th in Saturday night's Chase cutoff race at Richmond International Speedway. The...
Kenseth, No. 17 Team Finish 25th at Richmond; Fall Short of Chase Berth
RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 12, 2009) -- Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT Racing team finished 25th in Saturday night's Chase cutoff race at Richmond International Speedway. The combination of poor track position and an ill-handling racecar proved too much to overcome for the team, with Kenseth being unable to crack the top 20 all night.
Kenseth, who had been inside the top 12 after each of the first 25 races of the season, lost two spots in the 'regular season' finale, dropping to 14th and finishing 38 points on the outside of the top-12 Chase contenders.
"Honestly, we did approach it like any other race," said Kenseth after the race on pit road. "This is about how we ran the last four Richmond races. We just haven't been competitive, so, really since California this year it's been a downhill slide for us. We've slowly fallen back in the points every week, so I can't say I'm very surprised we didn't make it, but we've been working on it hard, we're just weak in a few areas.
"I'm really disappointed we didn't make it, but we just didn't perform good enough. Yeah, there were some mistakes here and there, and there were some points left on the table, but you can say that every year. Basically, we didn't perform good enough. We didn't run good enough to be in and the way we ran the last three months we didn't really deserve to be in there."
"We need to figure out why because none of our cars really run the way they should," added Kenseth. "I wish we weren't in this spot, but we did the best we could and we'll try again next week.
Kenseth, who had made each of the first five Chases, started the season with back-to-back wins at the Daytona 500 and at California Speedway. He finished each of the first 25 races of the season inside the top 12 and entered the 26th and final race before the cutoff point 20 points in front of 13th. It marks the first time in the existence of the 10-race Case for the Sprint Cup that Kenseth will not be a part of the 12-man field.
Kyle Busch fell short of the Chase as well, with Brian Vickers earning the 12th and final spot. Busch and Kenseth end the 26-race stretch on the outside looking in, despite combining for almost 25 percent of the series wins in 2009.
It is the first time that Kenseth has been outside the Sprint Cup top 12 in driver points since June of '08. The 25th-place finish marked the first time the veteran has finished outside to top 14 in the past seven races and it is the team's worst finish since March.
The team will look to regroup next weekend when the series travels to New Hampshire Motor Speedway.