Monday, October 7, 2013

Matt Kenseth Holding On!

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS –Matt Kenseth’s slim, eight point lead in the Chase just got slimmer as he was only able to manage an 11th place finish in a race marred with trouble.  Most, if not all the drivers struggled this weekend with the race-spec Goodyears.  But nobody, just nobody struggled as much as Kyle Busch.  The man has never won a race at this track.  And when he crashed his No 18 M&M Toyota during Saturday morning practice, I am sure he got that feeling again.  He made a valiant effort starting from the back of the pack, but when he contacted Carl Edwards on lap 200, it was the end of his race.  "I have no idea what happened on the last one," Busch said. "All I know is we're in Kansas, right?"  And to add insult to injury, Busch wrecked Brad Keselowski in the Nationwide race.

At the top of the heap, lame duck driver Kevin Harvick won his third race this season from the pole moving him up into third place, 25 points out.  "To sit on the pole and win the race, obviously, is a great weekend," Harvick said. "Controlling our own destiny by doing that, putting ourselves closer to where we need to be with the championship race ... so we’ll just keep having fun and doing what we’re doing." 
Second place went to Kurt Busch and the ever consistent Jeff Gordon placed third, placing them 5th and 4th in the Chase respectively.

Lucky for Kenseth that second place Jimmie Johnson could do no better than 6th, leaving him in the lead for now by a mere 3 points.  "All in all, it was just a crazy day," said Johnson, "there were weird restarts, wacky restarts, a lot of chaos there. Then caution after caution for who knows what ...”

The problems with the Goodyear tires that many teams struggled with has been blamed on the newly resurfaced track.  Four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon called the racing surfaces on newly paved tracks "too smooth.”  “We don't want bumps," Gordon said. "I'm not talking about bumps. I'm talking about the abrasiveness of the race track. It doesn't dissipate heat, doesn't wear the tires … all it does is cause friction and heat and failures and then Goodyear has to build a very hard, durable tire."  The Kansas surface was repaved last year, between the facility's two Cup dates.  Gordon said he "applauded" Goodyear's efforts, saying the supplier is "doing the best they can." 

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