Kenseth’s Position Boosted by Charlotte Victory
Claiming first place in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, 15 October, Matt Kenseth has moved up to third position in points in the 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. Carl Edwards is in first position with points, and Kevin Harvick in second. While Kyle Busch took the lead in 111 laps of the race, Kenseth moved into a serious battle for the lead late in the race, bagging his third win of the season and moving up in the championship stakes. He is now just seven markers behind Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards, and with Talladega Superspeedway next on the championship calendar, the competition is definitely heating up.
The 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship started off on a disappointing note for Kenseth as he came in 21st with the opening race at Chicagoland. His form showed definite improvement as he finished in 6th place at Loudon, 5th place at Dover and 4th at Kansas, with his win at Charlotte showing his talent as a driver. Since his rookie campaign in 2000 when he took the checkered flag at Charlotte, Kenseth counts the 2003 Cup championship and a Daytona 500 win among his achievements. Reportedly considered by some to be a “boring” driver, Kenseth has stated that he was hired to try and win races and that’s what he tries to do week after week.
The top-five of the Bank of America 500 were Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne and Marcos Ambrose. Other highlights of the racing action at Charlotte on Saturday included some intense on-track rivalry between Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards, which they resolved off-track after the race. Jimmie Johnson – five-time defending series champion – was involved in a hard accident just 17 laps short of the finish line, when he made contact with Ryan Newman. As the winner of the race at Kansas last week, Johnson had started Saturday’s race ranking third in points, with only four points between him and Edwards – he has now dropped to 8th in the standings. But as all auto racing fans know, each new race presents its challenges and opportunities, and anything can happen as drivers Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.