Kenseth wins caution-filled Sprint Cup race in Kansas
Auto Racing Videos
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The fast, smooth new surface at Kansas Speedway had the potential to wreak havoc on the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
The recent repave cluttered Sunday's race with a record 14 cautions — a season high in the Sprint Cup Series — and contributed to issues that affected at least four title contenders. But the standings looked much the same when Matt Kenseth took the checkered flag in a battered Ford that he banged hard into the wall midway through the race.
Kenseth still managed to drive it to his second victory in three races, while Brad Keselowski dodged accident after accident to hang onto his seven-point lead over Jimmie Johnson in the standings with four races remaining in the Chase.
“I was thinking, ‘Man, this has to be entertaining for everybody to watch,' ” Kenseth said.
That was an understatement Sunday, when the longest green-flag run was 35 laps early in the race. Some of the cautions were caused by tire problems, others were for single-car spins, including Chase drivers Johnson, Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle.
Danica Patrick wrecked herself when she intentionally wrecked Landon Cassill.
“Everybody has been asking all season long where the cautions have been,” Keselowski said. “Well, they flew to Kansas and they've been hanging out here because there was caution after caution.”
Biffle's spin ended his day with a hard crash into the wall.
“I lost it, man. It got away from me off of four and we wrecked it,” said Biffle, who dropped five spots in the standings to 11th. “I had no indication, no little wiggle, no sideways. It just got away from me and it killed our day.”
Johnson, who led 44 laps early, was far luckier.
He had pitted from the lead and was back in traffic when a caution came out, and he spun by himself shortly after the restart. He, too, hit the wall on his spin, but crew chief Chad Knaus called him to pit road to get a look at the car instead of conceding laps by going to the garage for repairs.
Knaus then methodically dictated team orders, as Johnson stopped on pit road at least a half-dozen times for repairs over two caution periods.
“That looks good, man. They did a much better job than I thought they would,” he told Johnson as he drove away. “There's really nothing wrong with that thing.”
Even Keselowski was surprised to see the heavily taped No. 48 back on the track when the race went green.
“I thought you said the 48 car wrecked?” he asked his crew. “He looks fine.”
Team owner Rick Hendrick praised the team efforts during a stop in the media center during the race.
“I have never in my 30 years of racing seen anyone perform that kind of surgery and not lose a lap,” Hendrick said.
In the end, Johnson salvaged a ninth-place finish and was carefully inspecting his Chevrolet after the race.
“I'm just now getting a chance to look at the damage on the car, and it's pretty severe,” he said. “I'm impressed that they fixed it as they did. All things considered, without my mistake, I think we had a shot to win.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Trib Total Media puts 9 Western Pa. newspapers up for sale
- LaBar: The upgrade of The Wyatt Family in WWE
- Starkey: Steelers stopping themselves with suspensions
- 10-year-old Blairsville violinist’s expulsion over knife challenged
- Pirates turn nifty double play in 9th, edge Marlins
- 2 dead in Bullskin crash
- Some of the WPIAL’s top teams leaning toward two-back ground game
- Nonprofit hospital titan UPMC’s income eclipses record
- Steelers’ Martavis Bryant facing four-game suspension
- Class AA breakdown: Dynamic offense to again lead 2-time PIAA champion South Fayette
- Pirates notebook: Hurdle mulling rotation options