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Kenseth Kicks Off Chase With A Win In Joliet

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, September 15 2013

Matt Kenseth won the Chicago marathon on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Brian Lawdermilk)

RacinToday.com

Matt Kenseth passed leader Kyle Busch on a restart with 23 laps to go and went on to win the playoff-opening, rain-extended Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday night.

Kenseth, who led the most laps in the race but watched from behind as Busch dominated the night-time portion of a race which was delayed by over five hours by rain, won for the sixth time in 2013.

Busch, who was attempting to pull off a three-race Chicagoland sweep, finished second to his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate in the race. The margin of victory was .74 seconds.

“it’s only one race,” JGR owner Joe Gibbs said, “but it was a great night for us.”

Busch, who led the field to green on the final restart, said he lost that lead when Harvick gave Kenseth a push from behind.

“The 29 (Harvick) pushed him – 1,600 horsepower versus 800,” Busch said.

“I just hate it. We had a great car tonight. We were really off yesterday, but Dave Rogers (crew chief) and these guys really pulled through for me and gave me a great piece. This Doublemint Camry was awesome. These guys, they worked hard to give me a good piece. I just, Kurt (Busch) didn’t get a good enough restart to get with me to push me forward – to keep us side-by-side getting into (Turn) 1. They beat us and it’s a great night for Joe Gibbs Racing to start the Chase like this.”

Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing finished third.

Kenseth thanked Harvick for push after the race. Harvick said, don’t mention it as t was not that altruistic of a move.

“Looked like the run before,” Harvick said, “Kyle was a little bit better than the 20. They were evenly matched. I was hoping they would get side‑by‑side, you have one of them slide up, able to get three‑wide or something happen. I figured that was better than going to the bottom and getting three‑wide and being pinned on the bottom and getting passed by two or three cars on the top. I figured that was my best option.”

Fourth was Kurt Busch of Furniture Row Racing while five-time champion Jimmie Johnson was fifth.

“Being consistent with top-fives is what the Chase is all about, and tonight we got off to a good start. It’s one down and nine to go,” said Kurt Busch, who is making his seventh Chase appearance.

Rounding out the top 10 were Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman.

Kenseth will head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the next race with a eight-point lead over Kyle Busch.

The victory was his first at Chicagoland Speedway, which is the track closest to his hometown of Cambridge, Wis.

“I’ve always wanted to win here in Chicago,” Kenseth said. “It’s only a couple hours from where I grew up – up in Wisconsin. So, it feels great to finally get the win here. We’ve been close a lot. Man, it’s been a long week for everybody. So, it feels great to finally race and be here in victory lane.”

Several championship contenders took major hits. Pole winner Joey Logano brought his car to pit road under caution with engine issues on Lap 149 of 267. After Lap 175, the engine gave up the ghost, and Logano retired in 37th place.

With the nose of his car punctured during a pit road accident on Lap 169, Dale Earnhardt Jr. suffered an engine failure on Lap 226, his heavily taped car overheating and ultimately erupting in a geyser of steam and smoke. Earnhardt dropped out in 35th place.

The race was red-flagged for more than five hours as rain pelted the 1.5-mile track. The action resumed at approximately 10 p.m. ET with Kenseth in the lead.

NASCAR Sprint Cup GEICO 400

Chicagoland Speedway

1. (10) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 267, $334891.

2. (12) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267, $261048.

3. (17) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 267, $221326.

4. (16) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 267, $169960.

5. (9) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 267, $176926.

6. (6) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 267, $161976.

7. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267, $164431.

8. (5) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #, Ford, 267, $158976.

9. (24) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 267, $148273.

10. (20) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 267, $143123.

11. (8) Carl Edwards, Ford, 267, $142180.

12. (4) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 267, $119355.

13. (15) Aric Almirola, Ford, 267, $140891.

14. (21) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 267, $111180.

15. (26) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 267, $130994.

16. (7) Greg Biffle, Ford, 267, $116030.

17. (29) Mark Martin, Chevrolet, 267, $143905.

18. (14) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 267, $132555.

19. (27) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 267, $126025.

20. (23) Danica Patrick #, Chevrolet, 267, $100180.

21. (13) AJ Allmendinger, Toyota, 267, $124438.

22. (11) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 267, $127571.

23. (41) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 267, $113013.

24. (37) Travis Kvapil, Toyota, 266, $118313.

25. (30) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 266, $96005.

26. (19) David Ragan, Ford, 266, $114388.

27. (36) Justin Allgaier(i), Chevrolet, 266, $111577.

28. (35) David Gilliland, Ford, 266, $93430.

29. (32) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 266, $90230.

30. (31) Casey Mears, Ford, 266, $101980.

31. (42) Joe Nemechek(i), Toyota, 266, $89780.

32. (3) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 261, $116794.

33. (22) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, Engine, 247, $109180.

34. (39) Timmy Hill #, Ford, Engine, 225, $89180.

35. (18) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, Engine, 224, $106945.

36. (33) David Reutimann, Toyota, Engine, 195, $88755.

37. (1) Joey Logano, Ford, Engine, 175, $122433.

38. (25) Brian Vickers(i), Toyota, Engine, 161, $90860.

39. (28) Cole Whitt(i), Toyota, Engine, 151, $78860.

40. (43) Tony Raines(i), Chevrolet, Vibration, 87, $74860.

41. (34) Josh Wise(i), Ford, Brakes, 84, $70860.

42. (40) Reed Sorenson(i), Ford, Vibration, 68, $66860.

43. (38) Michael McDowell, Ford, Brakes, 29, $63360.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 125.855 mph.

Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 10 Mins, 56 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.749 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 9 for 46 laps.

Lead Changes: 25 among 16 drivers.

Lap Leaders: J. Logano 1-32; L. Cassill(i) 33; J. Johnson 34-36; Kyle Busch 37; J. Johnson 38-74; M. Kenseth 75; J. Gordon 76-77; K. Harvick 78; C. Edwards 79; R. Newman 80; J. McMurray 81-82; M. Kenseth 83-112; B. Keselowski 113; M. Kenseth 114-148; A. Almirola 149; J. Yeley 150-151; J. Gordon 152-168; B. Keselowski 169; G. Biffle 170-171; Kyle Busch 172-219; K. Harvick 220; D. Earnhardt Jr. 221-222; D. Ragan 223; J. Gordon 224-226; Kyle Busch 227-244; M. Kenseth 245-267.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): M. Kenseth 4 times for 89 laps; Kyle Busch 3 times for 67 laps; J. Johnson 2 times for 40 laps; J. Logano 1 time for 32 laps; J. Gordon 3 times for 22 laps; K. Harvick 2 times for 2 laps; B. Keselowski 2 times for 2 laps; J. McMurray 1 time for 2 laps; G. Biffle 1 time for 2 laps; D. Earnhardt Jr. 1 time for 2 laps; J. Yeley 1 time for 2 laps; R. Newman 1 time for 1 lap; L. Cassill(i) 1 time for 1 lap; A. Almirola 1 time for 1 lap; C. Edwards 1 time for 1 lap; D. Ragan 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 12 in Points: M. Kenseth – 2,063; Kyle Busch – 2,055; J. Johnson – 2,052; K. Harvick – 2,048; C. Edwards – 2,040; Kurt Busch – 2,040; J. Gordon – 2,039; R. Newman – 2,035; C. Bowyer – 2,035; K. Kahne – 2,032; G. Biffle – 2,032; J. Logano – 2,011.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, September 15 2013
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  • NASCAR No Credibility says:

    Funny how Jimmy Johnson who could not get a good finish the last four races before the chase to help his teammate Jeff Gordon score as many points as possible to make the chase all of the sudden is a top 5 car again. Funny how Gordon failed to score enough points to make the chase so NASCAR just changes the rules for Hendrick and there you go Gordon is now in the chase.

    Can you paint all of NASCAR as fixed and tainted.

    The chase has to go as this year officially showed how corrupt the chase system is when they started adding teams both of witch are Hendrick motorsports cars by the way as everyone fully knows that Stewart/Hass is nothing but a satellite team for Hendrick because of the four team limit and this is how Hendrick gets by that as he supplies everything cars, engines including engineering support to Stewart/Hass.

    NASCAR has zero credibility. I encourage sponsors to leave this crooked sport. We all know that if Rick Hendrick does not have other people money he would be gone in a heart beat and that would only be good for stock car racing. It is also time for Brian France, Mike Helton and their side kick Robin to go as well.