TALLADEGA, ALA. (April 27, 2008) -- Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion team headed to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for Sunday’s Aaron’s 499. In a race that is known as a “crapshoot,” where anything can and does happen, Kenseth and crew were looking to avoid trouble and bring home a solid finish. Though Kenseth qualified a respectable 13th and was happy with the handling of his Ford, a blown right front tire on lap 19 of the 188-lap event sent the No. 17 team to the garage for repairs. When the DEWALT crew finally bandaged up Kenseth’s machine, he returned to the track in 42nd place, 35 laps down to the leaders. Kenseth limped around the track for the remainder of the race, ultimately finishing 41st.
Joe Nemecheck led the 43-car field to the green flag under balmy conditions in Talladega, Ala. Kenseth rolled off 13th and settled in for the start of the race. Kenseth maintained inside the top 15 for 16 laps. However, trouble struck on lap 19 in the form of a blown right front tire. The incident sent Kenseth’s Ford into the wall in turn two causing significant damage. The damages incurred sent Kenseth and crew to the garage. For more than 30 laps, the No. 17 crew worked to repair Kenseth’s Ford and on lap 55 Kenseth returned to the track, 35 laps down.
For the remainder of the race Kenseth nursed the DEWALT Ford around the track, trying to make up as much ground as possible, however 41st place would be the best Kenseth and crew could manage.
“It was another disappointing weekend for us,” said Kenseth. “We had a decent car, we qualified pretty well and I was looking forward to at least making it to the end, but it didn’t work out that way. We blew our tire and that pretty much ended our day. We ran around there at the end just trying to stay out of the way. We managed to pick up a few spots, but just another terrible day for us.”
The seventh caution flag of the day fell on the final lap, signaling the end of the race, when a gaggle of cars racing for finishing position started spinning behind the leaders. Kyle Busch was in the lead when the checkered flag finally fell signaling the end of the race. Juan Pablo Montoya was second, Denny Hamlin, third; Roush Fenway Racing driver, David Ragan came home fourth and Brian Vickers completed the top five.
The disappointing finish at Talladega dropped Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT team from 15th to 18th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings. Kenseth is currently 438 points behind point leader Jeff Burton.
Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT NANO Technology team will travel to Richmond, Vir. next weekend for racing action under the lights at Richmond International Raceway. The No. 17 team will take to the track on Saturday evening for the Crown Royal presents Your Name Here 400. FOX television and MRN radio will carry the live broadcast beginning at 7:30 p.m. (EST).
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup 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; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Kvapil, Bobby East and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.