Ambulance ruins Kenseth’s night at Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. — An ambulance that came to a stop at the entrance of pit road during the fifth caution of the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway ended the night of Matt Kenseth.

Following an on-track incident involving Austin Dillon dumping Danica Patrick, most of the field elected to  pit under the aforementioned caution. A number of cars started whoahing up, resulting in Kenseth ramming into the back of Clint Bowyer and pushing in the nose in the radiator area.

“Well we were all just kind of coming to pit road and I saw an ambulance sitting there and so I looked left of the ambulance at the same time (Jason) Hedlesky (spotter) yelled at everyone to stop there was an ambulance just sitting there,” Kenseth said. “It was an accordion effect and I just couldn’t get stopped. Not really sure why pit road was open with an ambulance parked there, but everybody stopped and I didn’t see it in time and ran into the car in front of me.”

He retired from the race with a 38th-place finish.

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“Well, I mean I don’t think they should open pit road if there’s an ambulance parked there,” Kenseth added. “It’s a very narrow entry. Pit road speed is pretty fast – 45 miles an hour or something – and, you know, still I shouldn’t have hit the car in front of me, but I can’t say I was expecting to see an ambulance blocking me, so by the time I looked up and saw him parked there and they were stopping in front of me, I tried the best I could to stop and couldn’t.”

While Kenseth was more restrained with his thoughts of what happened, Martin Truex Jr. was not.

“I was thinking that somebody that ‑‑ whoever hits the button to open pit road needs to pay attention to what’s going on on the racetrack. That’s what I was thinking,” Truex said. “It’s not like it was a big surprise. It didn’t happen in a split second. The emergency vehicles were riding down the backstretch next to us as soon as we came off of 2, and continued all the way until the opening of pit road, and they just left pit road open. Somebody obviously wasn’t paying attention or wasn’t doing their job properly, and in my opinion at this level, it’s inexcusable.”

The ambulance incident ruined what was a fantastic race for Kenseth to that point, leading 89 laps, finishing fourth in the first stage and runner-up in the second.

Despite the misfortune with the ambulance and the poor finish, Kenseth still qualified for the Playoffs. He’ll enter Chicagoland Speedway as the 15th seed.

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My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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