Article first published as Kenseth Steals One at the Monster Mile on Technorati.
Delaware may be the only state without a National Park, but it does have one monster of a speedway — the Monster Mile at Dover.
NASCAR’s finest lined up Sunday afternoon to tame the beast and at the end of the day, Matt Kenseth got the job done.
After a late-race caution on lap 363, the team chose to change right-side tires only. Kenseth left pit road well ahead of Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards, both making a four tire change. Johnson and Edwards had been battling for the lead all day. This pit strategy mired the points leaders back in the field on the restart with very time or opportunity to push towards the front.
Kenseth convinced crew chief Jimmy Fenning a two-tire strategy was the way to go. “Honestly, I was sitting on the track and thinking that we should stay out and get clean air and try it, because I knew we wouldn’t win if we took four. Jimmy wanted four, but as I was driving down pit
road, I thought maybe we could compromise.”
Mark Martin stayed out on old tires and was leading on the restart. Kenseth quickly dispatched Martin’s #5 car and lead the final 32 laps. Martin ran second, Marcos Ambros followed for third. Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers rounded out the top five.
Bowyer was sixth, followed by Edwards in seventh, Martin Truex Jr. eighth, Jimmie Johnson ninth, and Kevin Harvick in tenth.
Kyle Busch, with a fourth place finish, had the most improved day. He started dead last looking at forty-two cars ahead, when the green flag fell. All race long the M&M’s crew worked on the car finding increments of speed and handling on each stop.
“Considering how far behind we were when this weekend started, this was a great finish for our M&M’s Camry,” Busch said. “We had our engine failure in the first practice on Friday and I put it in the fence in the second practice, so I got us behind. It was my fault. The guys did an awesome job with what we had.”
NASCAR takes the show back to North Carolina as All-Star week kicks off at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
May 21, 7:00pm ET Sprint Showdown
May 21, 9:00pm ET Sprint All-Star Race
TV: Speed TV
Sprint All-Star Race information.