BUSCH: Matt Kenseth Back in Gear At Milwaukee

Kenseth gets it back in gear at Milwaukee By Marty Smith WEST ALLIS, Wis. (July 5, 1999) Matt Kenseth isn't exactly back to full form, but he is showing signs he will be soon. Matt Kenseth's monthlong bout with bad luck didn't end this...

Kenseth gets it back in gear at Milwaukee By Marty Smith

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (July 5, 1999) Matt Kenseth isn't exactly back to full form, but he is showing signs he will be soon. Matt Kenseth's monthlong bout with bad luck didn't end this past weekend, but it did take a brief hiatus, giving the young driving standout just enough leeway to resurface in the top-5 of a NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division race. Kenseth, who has suffered from a case of the spins over the past three races, persevered through a faulty clutch and rear view mirror Sunday to post a 5th-place finish in the DieHard 250 at The Milwaukee Mile.

"I thought we were terrible," said Kenseth, who trails only his close friend Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the championship point race, 139 points back.

"We didn't have a very fun day. We started out too loose and got a bad set of tires in the middle of the race.

"We had a good set there at the end and managed to get back to fifth. We lost the clutch and my mirror fell off. With all the stupid things to have happened, we were pretty lucky to finish fifth."

And happy as well. In the three races prior to Sunday -- at Dover Downs International Speedway, South Boston Speedway and Watkins Glen International -- the No. 17 DeWalt Tools Chevrolet was spun each time, erasing Kenseth from a shot at victory in some cases and dropping him further and further behind Earnhardt Jr., who won all three events. Although Kenseth was able to salvage a sixth-place run at South Boston, he recorded 32nd and 16th-place finishes at Dover and Watkins Glen, respectively

Early Sunday, it appeared that he might meet the same fate yet again, although this time he was able to steer clear of two potentially harmful wrecks. But, just when things appeared to be going his way, the clutch went out, costing him valuable time on pit road.

"We had this problem once earlier," Kenseth said. "The thing has hydraulics but you don't have any clutch. Basically, you're locked in gear. Fortunately, on restarts it didn't hurt us with our transmissions, but on pit stops, we had to shut the car off and push it to get going. It's the second time we had that happen. We need to figure out what's going on with that.

"But like I said, to finish fifth, I'm still happy with that. We never had the car right all day like we needed it to be. I had a lot of things go wrong, so for all the struggles that probably most people couldn't see, to come back and finish fifth, I guess I'm happy with that."

Kenseth has now finished in the top-five nine times in 1999, tying him with Earnhardt Jr. for the series lead in that category.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Matt Kenseth