‘Quaker State 400’ Recap
Kenseth slips past McMurray
to win in a squeaker
He sets second-closest margin
of victory at Kentucky track
(September 2013) – Matt Kenseth corralled his first Kentucky Speedway NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory on June 30 by gaining the race lead on a fuel-only pit stop with 23 laps remaining and raced away to a 0.699 of a second victory in the Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts. The race was delayed one day due to rain on June 29.
Matt Kenseth (right) celebrates his NASCAR Sprint Cup “Quaker State 400” on Sunday, June 30, following a rainout on Saturday, June 29.
Kenseth registers his first top-five Kentucky Speedway NSCS finish and is one of four drivers to own three top-10 finishes at the speedway through three series starts. The first-year Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s previous best Kentucky Speedway NSCS finish was sixth on July 9, 2011, and he placed seventh on June 30, 2012.
“I didn’t roll the dice, (crew chief) Jason (Ratcliff) did. I thought he was slightly crazy when it happened.
“This is such a great team and a great opportunity for me,” Kenseth said. “It’s been just an unbelievable season and year of my life, honestly. Jason did a great job. I didn’t think there was any way we were going to hold on for that win. He made the right call at the right time and these guys got it done on pit road.”
After ending a 15-year tenure with Roush Fenway Racing at the end of 2012, he said he’s a bit surprised to be holding the lead in NSCS victories near the midpoint of the season.
“I dreamed about it, but I didn’t imagine it would be realistic. It’s been incredible. We’ve had some moments that have tested us already this season, but it’s great to have the four wins. Hopefully, we’ll be able to keep it rolling.”
The oldest NSCS race winner in track history at age 41, Kenseth qualified 16th and posted the greatest improvement from a starting position by a Kentucky Speedway NSCS race winner. He raced second on Lap 60, led for the first time from Laps 95-108 and improved from the fourth spot on a gutsy late pit stop. He led the closing 23 circuits of the 267-lap event and paced 38 laps on the day.
He captured the Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts title by the series’ second-closest margin of victory at the track ahead of Earnhardt Ganassi driver Jamie McMurray.
Michael Waltrip Racing driver Clint Bowyer, Penske Racing’s Joey Logano and Kenseth’s JGR teammate, Kyle Busch, the inaugural Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts winner, rounded out the race top five.
McMurray snared his first NSCS top-five finish at Kentucky Speedway.
“It was definitely an up and down day, but we had a really fast car. Speed hasn’t been an issue for us this year, we just haven’t been able to get the finishes I feel like we deserve,” McMurray said.
Red-flag rains send Keselowski to
NASCAR Nationwide Series’ victory lane
Kentucky Speedway’s “Feed the Children 300” NASCAR Nationwide Series race was shortened by a rain with 30 of 200 race laps remaining on June 28, but the weather may simply have sped the inevitable as Brad Keselowski was well on his way to scoring his second victory in his past three series starts the track when light rain forced the event to fall under a red flag.
The Rochester Hills, Mich., driver and his No. 22 Penske Racing Ford marched from the 19th starting position, moved to second on Lap 74, then caught and passed Kyle Busch and his 54 Joe Gibbs Racing car for the lead on Lap 99. Keselowski only relinquished the lead once during a pit stop from that point forward.
He extended his race lead to almost a full second when the fifth and final caution flag of the night flew when rain arrived on Lap 164. The field circled the track under yellow until the race went under the red flag six laps later.
With radar indicating stronger storms approaching and with the race already official by rule having expired more than half the scheduled laps. NASCAR ended the event and Keselowski performed the first smokeless burnout in track history in his No. 22 at the start/finish line.
“You know, I didn’t want it to end this way, but we had a great car and we were able to drive to the front. We didn’t qualify like we wanted to (19th), but (Crew Chief) Jeremy Bullins and his team did a great job. They have been working so well with Greg Erwin and Sam Hornish’s team.
“We deserve these results. I feel lucky to drive this car. This is the type of car you get once a year, if you are lucky. Driving this car, I feel like Jimmie Johnson. This is a rocket,” Keselowski said under the cover of a garage stall during a Victory Lane celebration.
He earned his fifth top-five and sixth top-10 Kentucky NNS finish and owns the all-time series track lead in both categories through six starts. His only finish outside a Kentucky NNS top five was a seventh-place showing in last season’s “Feed The Children 300.” He closed out the shortened evening leading 59 race laps, second only to Busch’s 74 lap total.
Keselowski also is the fourth driver in as many races this season to claim a victory in the Penske Racing No. 22.
Elliott Sadler took second in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing car, Matt Crafton captured third in his first NNS start in the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing machine, Brian Vickers took fourth in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing machine and Busch completed the top five.
TY Dillon burns them down in the
NASCAR Truck Series’ ‘UNOH 225’
Richard Childress Racing’s Ty Dillon shot to the lead of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ “UNOH 225” with 26 laps remaining and scored his first Kentucky Speedway victory June 27 by torching a 36-truck field by 5.735 seconds.
Ty Dillon, 21,
became the youngest Truck Series winner in track history when he captured the NASCAR Truck Series’ “UNOH 225” on June 27. Brad Keselowski (below) wins the NASCAR Nationwide “Feed the Children 300” on June 28.
Age 21 years and four months, Dillon of Welcome, N.C., became the youngest NCWTS race winner in track history, a distinction previously belonging to James Buescher since June 28, 2012.
He charged through the field from the 22nd starting position and tied three-time NCWTS Kentucky winner Ron Hornaday Jr. for the greatest improvement by a series race winner at the track.
“To win here in Kentucky, after being here for when Austin won last year and being in Victory Lane with him, it feels nice,” Ty Dillon said. “I guess that’s three in a row for the Dillons.”
His brother, Austin, claimed back-to-back 300-mile NASCAR Nationwide Series victories from the pole position in June and September at the track last season.
Ty Dillon took the lead from Kyle Busch in the No. 51 truck with 26 laps remaining and claimed the victory by sailing the No. 3 truck beneath the checkered flag 5.735 seconds ahead of Brad Keselowski in the No. 19.
Busch took third after leading 42 circuits, defending race and two-time Kentucky NCWTS winner Buescher grabbed fourth in the No. 31, and Ryan Blaney completed top five in the No. 29.
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