Sunday, April 21, 2013

Matt Kenseth dominated from the pole to the checkered flag at Kansas Speedway

Photo Credit: John Harrelson/NASCAR via Getty Images
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot/Husky Toyota, started the STP 400 from the pole position and captured the checkered flag at Kansas Speedway. He finished 0.150 seconds ahead of a hard-charging Kasey Kahne. Additionally, Kenseth led four different times for a total of 163 laps, winning for the second time and getting his fourth top-10 finish this season.

Elated and thankful for the season that he is having thus far, Kenseth commented on the strength of his team: “ We've been incredibly strong – it is kind of cliché, but I really feel like I’m living the dream – this is a dream come true. This stuff – every single track, we were a little off at California, but other than that, we had cars I thought that if all the stars would have aligned then we could have won the race. We've been incredibly fast and I’m just so thankful to be wheeling them and glad we could hold on.”

Second-place-finisher Kasey Kahne wished the cloud cover had returned over the track or that he had a few more laps to try to get around Kenseth.

“By the time I got to him it was late in the race. That’s not necessarily what I wanted. I hoped I could get there sooner when the tires were fresher and I had more overall grip," Kahne said. "When I got to him I was sliding around a lot and so was he, but it was hard to pass at that point in time kind of with this combination we've got of the tire and the track and the new surface. It’s really nice, but still really fast of our cars.”

Third-place-finisher and five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson talked about how his team became a little more competitive for today’s event considering all of the Hendrick teams struggled during weekend practices.

“Man, there was a lot of changes going on through the practice sessions. I think the only car really happy was the 88. I think the 5 was optimistic, but the 24 and the 48, we made huge changes throughout the course of the weekend and couldn't get the car to respond," Johnson explained. "And then today, I guess everybody slowed down to our pace. I don’t know why or what, but today we were far more competitive than what we were yesterday or even on Friday.”

Rounding out the top ten were Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Aric Almirola, Mark Martin & Paul Menard.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the highest-finishing rookie of the race and led two times for a total of 26 laps.

“It was fun," said Stenhouse Jr. "We started up front, ran up front, lost our track position and then got it back and was able to lead some laps.We pitted under green and it really got us when the caution came out, but, all in all, I think we can take a lot of positives from this weekend. We were fast in practice, fast in qualifying and made the car better through the race that that’s what it’s all about is making your car better throughout the race and I think we did that today. The Zest Ford Fusion was the one to beat there at the end, but we didn't have the track position finish it off.”

Race Notables:
  • Third win from the pole this season, third in a row
  • 13 lead changes with eight different leaders
  • Eight cautions for a total of 40 laps which included four accidents, two spins and two for debris
  • 20 infractions which included cars to the rear, pitting before pit road was open, too many crew members in contact with the pit service area, outside of the pit box tire violation/team member not in contact with the outside tires and speeding entering pits
NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Results, click here.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Points Standings, click here.

Next up, the Cup series will be heading to Richmond International Raceway for the Toyota Owners 400 on April 27. It is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on FOX.


Unique Hiram is an Associate Editor/Contributing Writer/Media Rep for Skirts and Scuffs. Additionally, she is also the author of "Fast Lane Poetry," which was published April 2011. Unique can be contacted via email or through Twitter.

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