(workingonmyredneck file photo)
A two tire pit stop strategy was what it took for Matt Kenseth to win the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway Sunday. This victory was the second win for Kenseth in 2011, and the 20th victory of his career.
Kenseth talked about the last pit stop and the strategy employed.
“I was sitting on the track and thinking that we should stay out and get clean air and try it because I knew we wouldn’t win if we took four,” Kenseth said. “Jimmy (Fennig, his crew chief) wanted four but as I was driving down pit road I thought maybe we could compromise. While I was on the jack I asked if he was sure we didn’t want to try two and he said to put on two. It was really Jimmy’s call and just a suggestion by me. It was tough to pass on top of that rubber out there. We had a lot of power and these guys did a good job with the car.”
For most of the afternoon, Jimmie Johnson and points leader Carl Edwards had the fastest cars, leading 207 laps and 117 laps, respectively. That duo ran up front almost the whole race. They were battling for the lead and the victory when the final caution was called.
“I didn’t have any choice in it really, that is up to the guys up on the box,” Edwards said. “That is too tough of a choice to make right there and I don’t blame Bob Osborne one bit. I thought we would be able to march up through there and I thought the race would be between Clint (Bowyer) and I.
“I did see a couple cars go fast early on two tires but I really felt we were going to have something. If we had had a caution who know what would have happened. You can’t look back, you have to look forward. We still have the points lead and the fastest car here today. Everybody did a good job on the Aflac Ford and a teammate won, so that is good.”
When the race restarted with 34 to go, Martin, who did not pit at all, was first. Second was Kenseth. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was third, Brian Vickers was fourth, Jeff Gordon was fifth.
Bowyer was the top driver who took four tires – he was eighth and finished sixth.
“Obviously,” Bowyer said, “probably two tires may have won the race right there, but, when he said four and that many guys stayed out or were on two, I really thought we would be able to get back up through them, especially, as greasy and slimy as the track was on restarts. But it just didn’t. Real proud of my guys on the BB&T Chevrolet.”
Here is the unofficial results of the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!