Long Pond, PA. (June 7, 2009) – Matt Kenseth ran virtually the entire race inside the top-five in Sunday’s Pocono 500 before having to pit late for fuel and being forced to settle for a 16th-place finish at Pocono Raceway.
Kenseth and his No. 17 DEWALT Fusion had run every lap of the race inside the top 10 of the race, but was forced to take fuel on lap 187 of the 200-lap event. He returned to the field in 19th position and picked up three more positions in the final 12 laps.
“We ran third all day and finished 16th,” said a disappointed Kenseth after the race. “I don’t know what else to say about it. It’s obviously frustrating when you don’t finish as well as you run. We had a good car today and unfortunately ran much better than this finish will show.”
Kenseth started the race eighth based on the Sprint Cup point standings, after Friday’s qualifying session was cancelled for rain. He needed only nine laps to move into the top-five where he would run for the bulk of the next 155 laps before falling to seventh on lap 179.
He quickly rebounded and moved back inside the top five just seven laps later, but was forced to pit for fuel on lap 187. Unfortunately for Kenseth and the team, several cars in the field would gamble on fuel mileage. The gamble eventually paid off for those cars and Kenseth was never able to get back to the front of the field.
The Cambridge, Wis. native lead on three separate occasions during the race for a total of six laps, and remains eighth in the Sprint Cup point standings, 298 points behind first and only 74 points behind fifth.
The team returns to action next week at Michigan International Speedway, where Kenseth boasts one of his strongest records on the circuit. The DEWALT team posted a pair of top-five finishes at MIS last season, including a third-place finish in the spring.