Matt Kenseth Takes Victory at Caution-Laden Kansas Speedway Race
The newly repaved and reconfigured track at Kansas Speedway proved challenging to many, with Sunday’s NASCAR Hollywood Casino 400 Sprint Cup Series race surpassing the track’s record of thirteen cautions by one – a total of fourteen cautions for 66 laps. Despite Matt Kenseth’s #17 Ford hitting the fence on the thirteenth caution, caused by Aric Almirola’s Ford that went into an out-of-control spin on lap 215 of 267, he went on to win his first Sprint Cup event at Kansas, and his third race of the season. Martin Truex Jr. crossed the finish line in second place, followed by Paul Menard, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart.
Brad Keselowski, who took eighth place in the race, noted in a post-race interview that all season long everybody had been asking where all the cautions have been, and the answer was that they had flown to Kansas, as the race featured caution after caution, with ever wreck of the day seemingly happening in front of him. He nevertheless managed to hold onto his seven-point lead over Jimmie Johnson, and with four races remaining in the chase, the championship title is still being hotly contested.
While hair-raising for the drivers, wrecks on the track can drastically change the race outcome in the blink of an eye and add to the excitement of auto racing – especially when no-one is injured and drivers are able to get back into the race to try and regain lost ground. Five-time Jimmie Johnson had held the lead for 44 laps before losing control of his # 48 Chevrolet on lap 137. Following some speedy repair work by the Hendrick Motorsports team, Johnson was able to recover to an extent and finished ninth. Greg Biffle was one of the casualties of the day when he hit the wall on lap 176, and Danica Patrick retired from the race after clashing with Landon Cassill.
The top ten in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings following the Hollywood Casino 400 are:
1. Brad Keselowski – #2 Dodge – 2250 points
2. Jimmie Johnson – #48 Chevrolet – 2243 points
3. Denny Hamlin – #11 Toyota – 2230 points
4. Clint Bowyer – #15 Toyota – 2225 points
5. Kasey Kahne – #5 Chevrolet – 2220 points
6. Martin Truex JR. – #56 Toyota – 2207 points
7. Tony Stewart – #14 Chevrolet – 2203 points
8. Jeff Gordon – #24 Chevrolet – 2199
9. Matt Kenseth – #17 Ford – 2195 points
10. Kevin Harvick – #29 Chevrolet – 2191 points