August 11, 2008 8:36 AM

Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT Team Finish 12th at Watkins Glen

Solid Run Moves Kenseth Back into Chase Contention

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 10, 2008) -- Rain canceled qualifying at Watkins Glen International and owners’ point standings set the field for Sunday’s Centurion Boats at the Glen. Matt Kenseth, in the No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion rolled off 13th and settled in for the 90 laps of road course racing.

After starting 13th, Kenseth fell back to 18th place by lap 11 reporting that the DEWALT Ford was “lacking rear grip”. Since fuel strategy typically plays a significant role in road course races, crew chief Chip Bolin called Kenseth to pit road for the first time on lap 20 – several laps before a full fuel run. During the pit stop, the No. 17 team bolted on four fresh tires and filled the DEWALT Ford with fuel. Wedge and spring rubber adjustments were also made to the No. 17 and Kenseth rejoined the race in 41st position. By lap 30, all of the cars had pitted and Kenseth was again in 18th place.

Kenseth maintained an 18th place position through lap 47 when the caution fell and allowed Kenseth to pit once again for four tires and fuel. When green flag racing resumed on lap 24, Kenseth was scored in 24th place as not all competitors opted to pit. Despite the loss of track position, Bolin’s strategy would prove positive.

Since Kenseth had pitted for tires on lap 47, he would be good to the end of the race with just a quick stop for fuel. Whereas the competitors that opted not to pit under caution would be forced to make more lengthy green flag stops for tires and fuel.

On lap 56, Kenseth in 21st place pitted for four seconds of fuel and quickly exited pit road. By lap 61 he had worked his way up to 14th and was making gains on the competition.

A multi car melee in Turn 11 stopped the race on Lap 82 in what had been a relatively tame race to that point. After the red flag period of more than 43 minutes, the race restarted on lap 86 and Kenseth was scored in 11th place. Kyle Busch led Tony Stewart to the green flag. Busch held off Stewart and the rest of the field to capture his eighth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory of the season. Marcos Ambrose, Juan Pablo Montoya and Martin Truex, Jr. followed the Busch and Stewart to the checkers to complete the top five. Kenseth crossed the finish line in 12th place.
The 12th-place finish for Kenseth and the No. 17 team moved them from 13th back to 12th in overall point standings – just 61 points out of 10th and back into Chase contention.

“It doesn’t matter where you are in the points until after Richmond, really,” said Kenseth. “We didn’t really run that great. We had a real average car, and we had a real above average strategy and pit crew, so those guys got me the good finish, really. We’re heading into a stretch of tracks that I really enjoy racing at, so hopefully we’ll be able to make up some ground there.”

Kenseth and the No. 17 team will travel to Brooklyn, Mich. next week for the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway. The racing action will be broadcast live on ESPN television and MRN radio affiliates beginning at 2:00 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, August 17.

About Roush Fenway Racing

Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating 13 motorsports teams.  Five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Kvapil, John Wes Townley and Bobby East; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

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