Roush Fenway Racing Dominates at Texas
Despite an upset stomach, Carl Edwards finished third at Texas and reclaimed the Championship points lead from Kyle Busch by nine points (photo courtesy: Tom Pennington, Getty Images Sport)
Roush Fenway Racing driver Matt Kenseth sped away from Clint Bowyer at Texas, snapping a 76-race winless streak when he crossed the finish line with a gaudy 8.3-second advantage. The win was the 19th of Kenseth’s career, and he became the sixth different winner in seven Sprint Cup races this season. After a 76-race absence from victory lane, Kenseth needed a quick refresher course on what to do following a race win.
“Show me where to park this thing,” Kenseth said over the radio following the race. “It’s been a while.”
That it had. Kenseth’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winless streak dated to February 2009, when he won the Daytona 500 and the second race of the season at Auto Club Speedway — and nothing after that. With the victory, the 2003 NASCAR Champion climbed to third in the Sprint Cup Series standings. NASCAR will crown its Champions at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 18-20. Tickets for Ford Championship Weekend—Nov. 18-20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway—go on sale May 2, but fans can lock in tickets today with just a $30 deposit. For ticket information, click [here] or call (866) 409-RACE.
Kenseth’s teammates Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle finished third and fourth, respectively, while Paul Menard completed the Top 5. David Ragan turned in a strong performance to give all four Roush Fenway Racing drivers finishes in the top seven. Despite not feeling well, Edwards hung in for a Top 5 finish.
“I hate to throw my mom under the bus but she cooked something last night that I don’t think was too good,” Edwards said. “I think we chose the wrong package too. Bob and I were just talking about it. I feel good because Matt and those guys did a great job. Congrats to them.”
Kyle Busch was leading the Sprint Cup points standings coming into the race at Texas but a vibration forced the Joe Gibbs Racing driver to a 16th-place finish. Edwards moved back atop the points standings with his third-place finish, while Kenseth improved six spots, and now sits third as the series prepares to head to Talladega Superspeedway next week.
“The goal every year is to win a championship and you can’t do that if you aren’t in the Chase,” Kenseth said. “So we have been pretty good over the last four weeks and now we have a pretty dominating win. Hopefully we can carry this momentum back to victory lane a couple of times.”
Tickets for Ford Championship Weekend—Nov. 18-20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway—go on sale May 2, but fans can lock in tickets today with just a $30 deposit. For ticket information, click
or call (866) 409-RACE.
Rounding out the first 10 finishers were Biffle, Menard, Marcos Ambrose, Ragan, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch.
Pole-sitter Ragan and Earnhardt Jr. didn’t start anywhere close to each other. Ragan was on the pole, while Earnhardt Jr. started 28th. His finish of 19 spots better than where he started was better than any other driver in the field.
“I’m pretty satisfied,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I would have liked to finish a couple of spots higher; maybe a fifth or so. But the balance on the car was going too tight on the second to the last run and then it got loose on the last run.”
“We had a little bit of a rough stop there one time and lost some track position. We had a pretty good car though. I was real happy with our speed and the way we were able to come through the field was great.”
Earnhardt Jr. was able to gradually work his way through the field and was in the Top 10 by Lap 140 of the 334-lap race.
“The last two runs, we made adjustments that didn’t suit the car too well,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “We went too tight then that last run and we jumped back over the fence and was too loose. Still, a good car [and I am] happy with the way we run.”
With the Top 10 finish, Earnhardt Jr. moved up two spots in the standings to sixth. He is 21 points behind series leader Carl Edwards and has a 26-point cushion on 11th.
That’s a nice spot for Earnhardt Jr. to be in as he has failed to make the Chase For The Sprint Cup the last two years. The Chase will culminate at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend Nov. 18-20. Tickets for Ford Championship Weekend—Nov. 18-20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway—go on sale May 2, but fans can lock in tickets today with just a $30 deposit. For ticket information, click [here] or call (866) 409-RACE.
So while his winless streak hit 100, Earnhardt Jr. has had four Top 10 finishes in seven races this year.
“Every week that I have ever ran, if I don’t run where I think I should, it is a letdown to me,” Earnhardt Jr. “So, I’d say yeah [this was a letdown]. … We just ain’t made many real big mistakes. We had a much better car tonight.”
Next up for the Sprint Cup drivers is Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, April 17 (1 p.m. ET, Fox TV, MRN Radio)—Race 8 of 36 en route to Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 18-20). The Top 12 drivers in points after Race 26 qualify to contend for the 2011 Sprint Cup Championship, to be crowned in Miami on Nov. 20.
Miami’s Montoya Remains in the Top 10
South Florida resident Juan Pablo Montoya finished 14th at Texas after qualifying 13th. After seven races, Montoya has recorded two Top 5s, and four Top 10 finishes on the year.
Montoya’s 14th place finish finds him sitting eighth in the points standings—just one point behind Ryan Newman for seventh—in his Chase for a Sprint Cup Championship on his “home track” of Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 20. Montoya, who became the first non-American born driver to make the Chase For the Sprint Cup Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2009 likes his chances at Talladega.
"We have to make sure we are in the right place at the right time and go from there," said Montoya. "I think we have a good chance of winning there. Talladega has always been really good for us so pretty excited."
Tickets for Ford Championship Weekend—Nov. 18-20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway—go on sale May 2, but fans can lock in tickets TODAY with just a $30 deposit. For ticket information, click [HERE] or call (866) 409-RACE.
Next up for Montoya and NASCAR’s best is Talladega Supersepeedway on Sunday, April 17 (1 pm ET, FOX TV, MRN Radio)—Race 8 of 36 en route to Ford Championship Weekendat Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 18-20). The Top 12 drivers in points after Race 26 qualify to contend for the 2011 Sprint Cup Championship, to be crowned in Miami on Nov. 20.
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