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Dominant Kenseth Settles for Second in Loudon: “I Didn’t Do a Very Good Job”
- Updated: September 25, 2016
By Summer Bedgood, Managing Editor
If Martin Truex Jr. had the strongest car in Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, fellow Toyota driver Matt Kenseth was a close second. Kenseth led 105 of the 300 laps, second to Truex’s 141 laps led, but ultimately had to settle for a runner-up finish … but not to Truex.
Kevin Harvick took advantage of a late-race restart to make it around Kenseth and drive to the victory, leading only eight total laps on the day. Kenseth almost undoubtedly had a better, faster car, but had to settle for second as Harvick made it out into the clean air and was able to drive away.
Kenseth blamed himself for the loss, saying that a directive from NASCAR after a previous restart had him approaching the last restart differently.
“I didn’t do a very good job,” said Kenseth. “I let Kevin (Harvick) lay back on me and NASCAR said something about the restart before that and I have no idea what I did wrong. I probably shouldn’t have had that in my mind so I made sure I got rolling early and I spun the tires a little bit and he got half a car length anticipating it and just did it perfect and beat me through one and two and cleared me. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have worried about what they (NASCAR) said and just got to turn one first.”
NASCAR said that Kenseth had slowed the field during the previous restart and warned him about it shortly thereafter.
Kenseth has a 26-point cushion heading into the last race of the Round of 16 this weekend in Dover, where four drivers will be eliminated from Chase contention. The driver of the No. 20 won the spring race at Dover earlier this year and earned seventh in the fall race last season.
Despite the fact that he has a decent cushion heading into the final race of this round and he continued a trend of dominance shown by Toyota Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing this season, Kenseth was still disappointed in the loss.
“You always want to win,” said Kenseth. “I thought we had a top-two or three car today, but we didn’t win. They put me in position to do that and I let them down there so I feel bad about that. We ran good last week and we ran decent today too so we’ll just go to Dover and try to race them there.”
Kenseth will be going for his third victory this season when the series heads to Dover this weekend. His runner-up finish at Loudon was his fifth top-five finish in 28 races this year.