[media-credit id=26 align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]I’m not sure what to take from this past weekend’s Dover race. We saw pure excitement, and thrill during Saturday’s Nationwide race, but got the complete opposite during Sunday’s running of the FedEx 400. Sunday was dominated predominately by 2 drivers, Jimmie Johnson, and Carl Edwards.
Post Race Stats:
Winner: Matt Kenseth (Led 33 laps; 2 tire pit stop at the end put him in a position to win)
Led Most Laps: Jimmie Johnson (Led 207 laps)
Most Improved Driver: Brian Vickers (Marked the 1yr anniversary of his absence from NASCAR, finished P5)
Most Disappointing Driver: Denny Hamlin (Finished P16, can’t seem to get over that “hump”)
For over 75% of the race, I was almost convinced the winner would be either Jimmie Johnson, or Carl Edwards. I kept up with Matt Kenseth’s lap times, and current position on Twitter, and knew he had a really fast car, but didn’t know if he could beat those two. There was a period of time in the beginning when Matt Kenseth drove from his starting position of P24 to P3, before the competition yellow.
With just under 40 laps left in the FedEx 400, drivers were forced to make one last pit stop, and their crews knew they had to remain flawless! Leaders, Johnson and Edwards, took 4 tires thinking it would keep them up front, but Matt Kenseth, and Jimmy Fennig had a different idea. The plan for Kenseth was to take 4 tires, but just before Kenseth entered his pit, he keyed his mic “You sure you don’t want to try 2?” at that very moment, Kenseth said “2 tires, 2 tires”. Fennig gave word to his crew in just enough time for everyone to be on the same page. Kenseth’s final stop was smooth and quick, something the “Killer Bees” take a lot of pride in.
Matt was first off pit road, but lined up just behind Mark Martin, who decided not to pit. Within 2 laps Kenseth worked the inside of Martin to take the lead, and did not look back! About 20 laps left, Joey got really loose right in front of Kenseth, shooting Joey up into the wall. Kenseth said later “I was praying he would get down to the apron, before they flew the yellow, lining up was the last thing I wanted to do at that point!”
Matt has now won twice this year, he is now tied with Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch for 2 wins this season. With 2 wins in this new point system, it almost guarantees the driver a spot in the chase. This race was won not by the “dominant” car, but a “dominant” call made all the difference.
Next up: The Sprint All-Star Race from Charlotte, NC
Until next time- “Let’s go racin’ boys!” – DW