Matt Kenseth Wins Rain-Plagued Food City 500
Starting in pole position at Bristol Motor Speedway, Matt Kenseth battled for first place through a race that was delayed four times by rain, extended by 11 laps and included numerous cautions, driving the Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Toyota Camry to victory in the NASCAR Food City 500 on Sunday. Although Kenseth was in the lead position for only 47 of the 511 laps of Sunday’s race, he consistently remained among the top ten leaders while avoiding making any critical mistakes.
Kurt Busch looked set to win the race, but headed to pit road on a late caution, being the only driver among the leaders to do so, and when he rejoined the race he had fallen to sixth position. Matt Kenseth was followed by Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Newman in the top five positions for the rain-drenched 2015 Food City 500.
The start of Sunday’s race was delayed by nearly 90 minutes due to the rain, and was stopped three more times before the checkered flag came down. One delay lasted nearly four hours, but organizers were determined to stage a complete race and crowds of die-hard fans stuck around to witness Kenseth crossing the finish line. Other glitches in the events included Austin Dillon running out of gas, reportedly due to the lengthy final caution. Denny Hamlin failed to return to the track after the first break due to a neck-related health issue, and two Team Penske drivers were involved in a wreck twenty laps into the race.
Born in Cambridge, Wisconson, on March 10, 1972, Matt Kenseth started stock car racing at Madison International Speedway at the age of 16, driving a 1981 Camaro. He started competing in the Sprint Cup Series in 1998, filling in for Bill Elliot in the Winston Cup Series at Dover, where he finished in 6th place. His career has included a number of highlights and he has driven for various teams through the years. In September 2012 it was announced that Kenseth would be competing in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as part of the Joe Gibbs Racing Team, driving the #20 Toyota. He started the 2015 season by winning the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, ahead of Martin Truex, Jr. and Carl Edwards in second and third places respectively.
Eight races into the 2015 season, currently Kevin Harvick is in the #1 spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings, followed by (in order) Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and Aric Almirola.