Matt Kenseth goes undefeated in Chase with Loudon win

Matt Kenseth claimed his seventh win of the 2013 season on Sunday with his victory in the Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

“I just feel like the luckiest guy int he world to be standing here,” Kenseth said in victory lane.

The victory was his second-straight, making him two-for-two, two races into the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup, and it just happened to come in his 500th-career start in the series.

“This guy — he’s done an incredible job this year,” Kenseth’s crew chief Jason Ratcliff said. “This has been an incredible season for us.”

Joe Gibbs Racing scored its second-consecutive one-two finish with Kyle Busch finishing second to Kenseth for the second week in a row. Kenseth led 106 laps of the 300-lap race, mostly in the second half, with Busch joining him up front in the final 50 laps.

“There’s a reason we think we’re the best, and we’re showing it these last two weeks,” Busch said.

Greg Biffle finished third, Jimmie Johnson was fourth and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top-five. For Biffle, the top-five was his first top-five finish since racing at Michigan International Speedway in June.

Martin Truex dominated the first half of the race, leading 98 laps, with most of those coming in the first 150. He wound up finishing 10th. Other top-10 finishers included Dale Earnhardt Jr. in sixth, Brian Vickers seventh, Jeff Burton eighth and Carl Edwards in ninth.

Earnhardt got mired back in the field when he had to make an extra pit stop to tighten lug nuts during the first caution of the race on lap 30. Already back in the field, he pitted while most of the front runners stayed out during a caution on lap 55. When the leaders cycled through green-flag stops just past lap 110, Earnhardt stayed out and led several laps before heading to pit road, himself, on lap 130. After the stop, he was in the back again, but gained track position with a two-tire stop during a caution on lap 153. He ran in the top-10 for the remainder of the race.

A couple of his Hendrick Motorsports teammates, Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon, also each led several laps. Kahne took the lead from pole sitter Ryan Newman on lap three and remained up front until Truex took the lead on the restart that followed the lap-30 caution. Kahne wound up hitting the wall and bringing out the final caution of the race with 40 laps to go.

“I’m not sure what happened,” Kahne said. “I just hit the inside wall. I don’t know how I got there.”

Gordon ran up front after getting off pit road first during a caution on lap 164. Earnhardt moved up to second on that restart and the teammates ran one and two until getting beat off pit road during a debris caution with 100 laps remaining.

Gordon slid through hits pit stall and wound up 22nd on the restart. He got up to 15th position by the finish.

– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR

Follow Stock Car Spin on Twitter @SCSblog or like Stock Car Spin on Facebook. Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner.

Tags: Chase For The Sprint Cup Joe Gibbs Racing Matt Kenseth NASCAR New Hampshire Motor Speedway

comments powered by Disqus