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Tag Archives: Matt Kenseth

NASCAR Stuff We Can’t Make Up: November 7, 2007

_In Frontstretch's newest feature, Senior Staff Writer Becca Gladden scours the NASCAR news front to bring you the week's curious, offbeat, and just plain wacky news from the intriguing world of big-time stock car racing. Trust us, folks, these stories are all true - we just couldn't make this stuff up!_ - Christmas shopping alert! Sam's Club is selling a "Once-in-a-Lifetime Package NASCAR Insider's Racing Experience," which just went on sale Wednesday. Among the many features of this gift package are the opportunity to become an honorary crew member at the May 2008 Charlotte race, a hot lap around the track in the official pace car, and a spot in the Petty Enterprises suite from which to watch the race. Your cost? Just $24,800. I know for that price you'll be tempted to stock up for all your gift giving needs! (Sadly, there is just one package available). - Last week, we mentioned that Tony Stewart attended a Halloween party dressed as Elvis Presley. Now comes word that Matt Kenseth went to a costume party at Jamie McMurray's house wearing a Bill Clinton costume. But here's the really funny part - Matt's wife Katie came dressed as Monica Lewinsky - giving a whole new meaning to the concept of NASCAR's "Oval Office."

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Mirror Driving: Kenseth’s Special Comment, Hendrick = Dominant, And Gauging Edwards’ Busch Accomplishment

*After waging a hard-fought battle with Jimmie Johnson over the final ten laps, is Matt Kenseth being unfairly criticized for openly mentioning he's going to settle for second on the radio?* Amy: Yes, he is. Kenseth wasn't settling for anything; he was questioning whether going for the win was worth putting his car in the wall! Which - by the way - he almost did a couple of times … Tommy: He was just debating whether going for the win was worth the high probability of wrecking ... it's nothing that drivers aren't doing mentally, anyways. Vito: It's a natural question. He had two tires and was about losing it coming off the corner, trying to hold off a guy with four. Tom: For someone who was just going to "settle for second," Kenseth was certainly driving the wheels off that thing.

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Time Will Tell If Cousin Carl Lets Me Down

A couple of weeks ago, after my personal favorite Dale Jarrett announced he would be retiring from Cup competition following the Spring Bristol race in 2008, I transitioned into fan mode and penned a column explaining just why DJ was my favorite all these years - thanking him for being an all-around classy guy. Also in that column, I mentioned that a few years ago I had selected another driver to step up as a new favorite when DJ hung up his racing helmet. That man is Carl Edwards. My selection of Carl was never based on anything he had done, at least to that point, in Cup competition, but rather the way he raced and conducted himself when he was still in the Craftsman Truck Series. I saw then that he was a great young racer with many successful years ahead of him; I have often said since, in print and in person, that time would prove Carl to be just as classy a guy as Dale Jarrett. Up until last Sunday, I've never had any real reason to doubt that.

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Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2007 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte

*The Key Moment* - When Jeff Gordon buzzed the rear tires on the final restart, Clint Bowyer ran into the back of him, propelling the No. 24 forward rather than passing him. *In a Nutshell* - More of the same tepid brew. The finish was exciting, but you had to endure a lot of spread out processional racing for several hours to see it (and stay awake). *Dramatic Moment* - Whether the drama was real or manufactured as a ploy, that final restart had fans on their feet. Waiting to see if Kyle Busch was going to flat out park his soon-to-be former teammate on the penultimate restart to steal the win. It's not like there's a lot of love lost between Busch and Hendrick Motorsports.

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Jeff Gordon vs. Matt Kenseth: The Razor-Thin Line Between Chase Success…And Lack Thereof

They say racing can boil down to a matter of inches. But in what's become a wacky Chase, "inches" can simply be replaced by "finishing." Just take a look at Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth. One is spending this Monday morning relishing the glory of a title clearly within their grasp; the other is shaking his head at a championship bid gone painfully sour. Without question, their two Chases couldn't be more different…or could they? A quick look at the standings appears to concede just how opposite the two men's experiences have been on paper.

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Busch Series Breakdown: 2007 Yellow Transportation 300 at Kansas

*In a Nutshell*: The Buschwhackers put on a heck of a show Saturday in the heart of America. The race started with Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards having a great duel for the lead for the first 9 laps, then it became the Matt Kenseth show. Kenseth led the race from lap 10 through lap 34 and then was part of the group that swapped the lead throughout the middle of the race which included Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle, and Brian Vickers. Vickers once again had trouble on pit road during a pit stop while the caution was displayed for oil on the track at lap 127 and was never able to fully recover. Kenseth resumed the lead on lap 146 and held it until lap 183. Kyle Busch overcame a pit road speeding penalty that sent him to the back of the longest line and caught back up to Kenseth, ultimately taking the lead on lap 184 and holding onto it for the rest of the race.

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Ten Points to Ponder… After the 2007 Sylvania 300 at Loudon

*1. Brad's Big Blunder* - Fans have not exactly warmed to Brad Daugherty, the former NBA All-Star player and Busch Series team owner turned NASCAR TV analyst. But Daugherty made a big blunder on today's pre-race show when he opined that none of the Chase contenders could catch the top three drivers: Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and Tony Stewart. "To come from the bottom, it's insurmountable. It cannot happen. It's too big of a deficit because those guys don't make mistakes. It's not going to happen," he said. WRONG. Just ask Clint Bowyer, he shot from 12th to fourth in just one race and is now only five points out of third. Anything can happen over the course of ten races and there's more to it than not making mistakes - there are cut tires, engine problems, pit road issues, getting caught up in other people's wrecks, and many other variables that can hurt _any_ Chase driver...even the top three favorites. *2. Nice Guy Finishes First* - Clint Bowyer's first win is one of the feel-good stories of the season for a guy who is widely liked throughout the garage.

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Handicapping The 2007 Chase: Part I

This Sunday, just twelve men will take the green flag at New Hampshire with their dream of a 2007 Cup title intact. It's been a remarkable season for them to get this far, as both consistency and talent have put them in position to achieve the ultimate goal. But of course, from the twelve only one can emerge to watch their dream turn into reality. Who will that person be? We'll try and figure that out over the next two days, handicapping the Chase field to dissect what drivers stand a chance at the trophy…and which ones are better off walking away. So, without further ado…let's look at how these men will finish, tackling the predicted final standings from the bottom up...

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Ten Points to Ponder… After the 2007 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono

*1. Robby Robbed?* - I'm going to take the minority position here, but I believe NASCAR initially made the right call placing Robby Gordon in 13th for the restart in Saturday's Busch race. The issue according to NASCAR was not where Gordon was when the caution came out, but the fact that he failed to "maintain a cautious pace" under the yellow. However, NASCAR did compound the confusion by initially telling Gordon to line up in first...then in second...then in 13th. The officiating crew also messed up by restarting the race with Gordon still in second, knowing full well that he would wreck Marcos Ambrose after the restart - which, of course, he did. For his part, Gordon said that the reason he didn't move back was that he was going to appeal the finish and "wanted to make sure that the race played out the way it should." *2. Robby Wrong* - Even if you side with Gordon on the initial protest, his failure to acknowledge the black flag and subsequent burnout after the checkers was quite over the top, a move which resulted in his suspension from Sunday's Cup race.

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Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2007 USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland

*The Key Moment*: Matt Kenseth got a good run on Tony Stewart with 38 laps to go, but Stewart held off the challenge...it was clear sailing for the No. 20 after that. *In a Nutshell*: McRacing at McTrack. Perhaps the worst damn race of the season. *Dramatic Moment*: Honestly, I simply don't recall any. I guess the race was less boring in the first few laps after a restart. With passing at a premium, some drivers took insane chances. *What They'll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week*: Before we get started on the race, *I need to take a personal moment to thank all of you who emailed me your condolences or offered your prayers for my family in the wake of my Mom's passing on July 7th*.

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