Was there a last lap pass for the lead? Maybe some side by side beating and banging for more than a moment? How about some good old fashioned retribution in the form of one bumper meeting another? No? Huh. Sunday’s race at Kansas was, in fact, just an ordinary day at the track. Teams struggled …
*Key Moment* – The caution flag flew on lap 219 when *Brad Keselowski’s* rear bumper cover flew off his car in Turn 4. When the pit stops on that final caution of the race were completed, *Matt Kenseth* was the first car off pit lane and the rest of the day was all but academic.
*In a Nutshell* – From Friday morning, *Matt Kenseth* had the car to beat at Kansas this weekend. Everyone tried. No one could.
_Did you miss an event during this busy week in racing? How about a late-night press release, an important sponsorship rumor, or a juicy piece of news? If you did, you’ve come to the right place! Each week, The Frontstretch will break down the racing, series by series, to bring you the biggest stories that you need to watch going forward for the week ahead. Let our experts help you get up to speed, no matter what series you might have missed, all in this edition of Pace Laps!_
*Sprint Cup: It IS Where You Start – That’s Where You Finish* Matt Kenseth’s dominating Cup victory at Kansas, leading 163 of 267 laps hardly came as a surprise. After all, the No. 20 team had already won Las Vegas, establishing themselves as a threat on intermediates and been in contention at virtually every race this year.
_Looking for the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How behind Sunday’s race? Amy Henderson has you covered with each week with the answers to six race day questions, covering all five W’s and even the H…the Big Six._
*Who…gets my shoutout of the race?*
Running for the team that has suffered the most from Penske Racing’s change to Ford this year, *Aric Almirola* posted his second top-10 finish in the last two races on Sunday, coming home eighth. Almirola is a driver who has shown that he can run well if given a stable environment, and he has done that at Richard Petty Motorsports, despite the team being underfunded in comparison to its closest competitors in points.
I guarantee that if you go on any website that covers the sport of NASCAR—including this one—you’ll see at least one column about how Kenseth’s move to Joe Gibbs Racing was the greatest thing he ever did and that Kansas solidified his dominance and blah, blah, blah…
It’s relevant, no doubt, but what everyone is missing is the second place driver: Kasey Kahne. However, that’s nothing new for the Washington native, who tends to fly under the radar as it is. He’s been in the sport for a while now and has won several races, yet you almost never hear “Kasey Kahne” amongst the weekly favorites to win when all the so-called analysts are making their picks. I’m even guilty of this fact.
*In A Nutshell:* Takuma Sato finally broke through and earned his maiden IndyCar win. Sato ran up front for much of the day and only was truly challenged by Graham Rahal towards the race’s conclusion, marking the first triumph for the Japanese driver for AJ Foyt Racing. Sato cruised to the line over Rahal, with Justin Wilson, Dario Franchitti, and JR Hildebrand rounding out the top 5.
*Key Moment:* Late in the race, Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal had checked out on the field and appeared primed to duel to the finish. However, Rahal was short on fuel and was thus forced to save until the end. Sato capitalized on this shortcoming and drove away with ease down the stretch.
Throughout much of last season, speculation abounded that Matt Kenseth would be leaving Roush Fenway Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing, and once September rolled around, the pair confirmed the decision. And what a decision it was for Kenseth. It took just three races for the 31-year-old and the No. 20 team to get to Victory Lane at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, succeeding in a race where he led just 42 laps.
Fast forward to the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on Sunday where Kenseth headed to victory lane, with Kasey Kahne in tow, for the second time in just six races.
by Justin Tucker Matt Kenseth sent a message on Friday Afternoon during Sprint Cup Series Qualifying to the field. Kenseth rocketed his No. 20 Husky Tools Toyota to a track qualifying record of 191.864 MPH in earning the pole for Sunday’s STP 400. On Sunday Afternoon, Kenseth would prove to be the dominator, leading 163 …
Never Fear, the Underdogs are Here: Kansas I Edition by Amy Henderson Editor’s Note: This year, we’re going to switch things up a little bit. Instead of just focusing upon one underdog (or underreported) car in the Secret Star section, we will point out three smaller teams that put up good finishes each week. Underdog …
“We tightened up a little bit on that final run and putting two on, and zero, I knew we were going to be a little loose but didn’t think it would be quite that bad. Matt (Kenseth) was fast and I just did everything I could and he would go to those spots and I …