Featured Stories Matt Kenseth Wins at New Hampshire

Matt Kenseth Wins at New Hampshire

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Matt Kenseth is the man to beat in the 2013; there is no doubt about that. He has now won both chase races with his teammate, Kyle Busch finishing 2nd just like Chicagoland last weekend. This is his 7th win of the season and the 31st of his career. Matt started 9th and wasn’t looked at as a favorite to win the race and wasn’t a factor until after the halfway point. He’s never gone to victory lane at New Hampshire until now and it just so happened to be his 500th career start as well.

The race kicked off with Ryan Newman on pole but he would quickly be overtaken by a hard-charging Kasey Kahne. Kasey led until the first caution of the day flew courtesy of Josh Wise going for a spin in turn 4. On the restart, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray made contact sending the No.1 spinning. Jamie kept it off the wall though and the car was fine until rookie Kevin Swindell ran into the back of him. McMurray rebounded and finished a solid 5th with a damaged rear end.

The next incident involved Bobby Labonte and David Gilliland on the front stretch. Labonte’s car was destroyed while Gilliland suffered some front end damage during the crash. Martin Truex Jr. led a bunch of laps before Jeff Gordon took control of the event. A rare pit road mistake by the 4-time champ ruined his race as he brought home a disappointing 15th place finish.

Late in the race, Kasey Kahne got loose underneath Brian Vickers and smacked the inside wall. He was very upset and didn’t have anything to say when he left the infield care center. Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a fantastic restart with 30 to go and rocketed up to 2nd but he gave it all back within a few laps. It came down to a duel between JGR teammates Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch with the 2003 NSCS champion prevailing as Kyle desperately tried to get to him. Track position was key today and when you didn’t have it, you didn’t stand a chance.

The race featured eleven different leaders, seven cautions and nineteen lead changes. 28 cars finished on the lead lap and five failed to finish. Kenseth, (Kyle) Busch and Johnson have separated themselves from the rest of the chase field and are certainly living up to all the hype surrounding their chase chances. Matt has a 14pt lead over teammate Kyle and Jimmie Johnson faces a 18pt deficit. There’s a noticeable gap back to 4th place Carl Edwards who sits 36pts back. 10th on back are a full race’s worth of points behind the leader and Kasey Kahne is now last in the chase; 71pts back of Kenseth.

RACE RESULTS

1.) Matt Kenseth #20

2.) Kyle Busch #18

3.) Greg Biffle #16

4.) Jimmie Johnson #48

5.) Jamie McMurray #1

6.) Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88

7.) Brian Vickers #55

8.) Jeff Burton #31

9.) Carl Edwards #99

10.) Matin Truex Jr. #56

11.) Brad Keselowski #2

12.) Denny Hamlin #11

13.) Kurt Busch #78

14.) Joey Logano #22

15.) Jeff Gordon #24

16.) Ryan Newman #39

17.) Clint Bowyer #15

18.) Marcos Ambrose #9

19.) Juan Pablo Montoya #42

20.) Kevin Harvick #29

21.) Aric Almirola #43

22.) Paul Menard #27

23.) Mark Martin #55

24.) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17

25.) Casey Mears #13

26.) David Reutimann #83

27.) Danica Patrick #10

28.) Travis Kvapil #93

29.) David Ragan #34

30.) Michael McDowell #51

31.) Dave Blaney #7

32.) Josh Wise #35

33.) JJ Yeley #36

34.) Landon Cassill #40

35.) Joe Nemechek #87

36.) Timmy Hill #32

37.) Kasey Kahne #5

38.) Kevin Swindell #30

39.) David Gilliland #38

40.) Bobby Labonte #47

41.) Tony Raines #33

42.) Johnny Sauter #98

43.) Scott Riggs #95

– Richard Petty is the only other driver besides Kenseth to win in his 500th start

– 4 of Matt’s 7 victories this season have all come at tracks that he had not won at until 2013

– Kenseth is the 12th different driver to win in the last 12 New Hampshire races

– This is the third time a chase driver has won the first two chase races…Biffle did it in 2008 & Stewart in 2011

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