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Kenseth Wins Samsung Mobile 500, First-Ever Night Sprint Cup Race In 15-Year History Of TMS

by TMS Media Relations | Apr 09, 2011

 

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 9, 2011) – Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Crown Royal Ford) snapped a 76-race winless drought with a dominant performance in Saturday’s Samsung Mobile 500 before an estimated crowd of 168,400 in the first-ever night NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in the 15-year history of Texas Motor Speedway.

Kenseth led a race-high 169 laps in the 334-lap event to earn his first Sprint Cup Series victory since Feb. 22, 2009 at Auto Club Speedway. It was his 19th career win and second at Texas Motor Speedway, the other coming in this event in 2002. Despite his dominance, the race featured 31 lead changes, two shy of the Sprint Cup Series track-record established in November’s AAA Texas 500.

“It has been a long time,” Kenseth said. “I am really happy for Jimmie (Fennig, crew chief) and all these guys on the Crown Royal Black Ford. I have lost a lot of close ones at this track. It feels good to be able to close it out.”

Kenseth, who started fourth, came out strong in the 334-lap event. He gained the lead for the first time on Lap 50 and soon was taking control of the race. By the midway point, Kenseth had led 98 of the 167 laps and only one driver – Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) with 32 – leading more than 13.

Kenseth also was pacing the Roush Fenway Racing contingent that had its four cars among the top six at this stage. Polesitter David Ragan (No. 6 UPS Freight Ford) was running third, Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford) fourth and Carl Edwards (No. 99 Scotts Ford) sixth.

The only others to crack the Roush Fenway and Ford dominance at that point was Clint Bowyer (No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet), who was running second, and Kyle Busch (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota) in fifth.

Kenseth briefly lost the lead to Bowyer for five laps (Laps 200-204) when he came in during green-flag pit stops by quickly found himself on the point once again by Lap 205. A pair of back-to-back cautions quickly followed and resulted in Bowyer taking the point with Kenseth, Marcos Ambrose (No. 9 Stanley Ford) and Edwards in pursuit.

Bowyer, running in clean air, opened up a second-plus lead on Kenseth and the rest of the field with 100 to go. But Bowyer then made a mistake as he slid up the track, brushed Brian Vickers (No. 83 Red Bull Toyota) and Kenseth moved on by as Bowyer was able to make a great save.

“Yeah, that was my fault. I shouldn’t have stuck it in there,” Bowyer said. “Track position is so big. You come up on those lappers it hurts you so bad that it almost killed my chances to even have a finishing day. But hats off to Matt Kenseth. He was the class of the field. He deserved to win the race. We were definitely a second-place car.”

Kenseth remained strong and his primary competitors were those drivers on different pit strategies, namely Kurt Busch (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge) and Tony Stewart (No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet). Stewart’s hopes were quickly doused when he was caught speeding entering pit lane during green-flag pit stops and was forced to serve a drive-through penalty.

Busch, however, extended his fate as he owned a nine-second lead with 15 laps remaining, but was forced to pit two laps later. Kenseth inherited the lead and found himself with a comfortable advantage – eight seconds – over his closest pursuer, Bowyer, and coasted to the eighth career win for Roush Fenway at Texas Motor Speedway.

Bowyer finished second and was followed by Edwards, Biffle and Paul Menard (No. 27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet).

 

Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Pts Bns Winnings Status
1 4 17 Matt Kenseth Crown Royal Black Ford 334 48 5 $525,886 Running
2 3 33 Clint Bowyer Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet 334 43 1 $353,883 Running
3 2 99 Carl Edwards Scotts Ford 334 42 1 $269,791 Running
4 9 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford 334 41 1 $206,975 Running
5 19 27 Paul Menard Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet 334 39   $162,625 Running
6 7 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford 334 39 1 $176,341 Running
7 1 6 David Ragan UPS Freight Ford 334 38 1 $166,375 Running
8 6 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet 334 36   $179,761 Running
9 28 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet 334 36 1 $140,525 Running
10 10 22 Kurt Busch Shell/Pennzoil Dodge 334 35 1 $167,125 Running
11 12 31 Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevrolet 334 33   $132,325 Running
12 26 14 Tony Stewart Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet 334 33 1 $168,308 Running
13 14 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet 333 31   $156,583 Running
14 16 39 Ryan Newman U.S. ARMY Reserve Chevrolet 333 30   $155,125 Running
15 23 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Office/March of Dimes Toyota 333 29   $160,850 Running
16 11 18 Kyle Busch Interstate Batteries Toyota 333 28   $157,791 Running
17 18 21 Trevor Bayne(i) Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford 333 0   $120,550 Running
18 27 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Dodge 333 27 1 $137,458 Running
19 15 43 A J Allmendinger Valvoline Ford 332 25   $146,186 Running
20 29 29 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet 332 24   $153,861 Running
21 13 4 Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota 332 23   $130,308 Running
22 17 1 Jamie McMurray Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet 332 22   $139,564 Running
23 32 24 Jeff Gordon DuPont Chevrolet 332 22 1 $140,936 Running
24 8 20 Joey Logano Home Depot Toyota 331 20   $109,450 Running
25 34 47 Bobby Labonte Bush's Toyota 331 19   $126,720 Running
26 22 13 Casey Mears GEICO Toyota 331 18   $98,250 Running
27 30 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota 330 17   $123,839 Running
28 24 09 Landon Cassill(i) Security Benefits/Thank A Teacher Today Chevrolet 330 0   $110,183 Running
29 25 00 David Reutimann Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota 329 15   $121,733 Running
30 38 36 Dave Blaney Accell Construction Chevrolet 329 15 1 $105,833 Running
31 39 7 Robby Gordon Fast Five/SPEED Energy Dodge 328 14 1 $99,797 Running
32 43 71 Andy Lally # Interstate Moving Services Ford 324 12   $96,150 Running
33 41 32 Ken Schrader Big Red Ford 319 11   $86,500 Running
34 42 37 Tony Raines Front Row Motorsports Ford 319 10   $84,450 Running
35 31 56 Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Toyota 213 9   $91,325 Accident
36 21 5 Mark Martin GoDaddy.com Chevrolet 213 8   $90,175 Accident
37 5 78 Regan Smith farmamerican.org Chevrolet 212 7   $107,420 Accident
38 33 95 David Starr(i) WRL General Contractors Ford 122 0   $79,925 Accident
39 37 87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 60 0   $79,800 Clutch
40 20 66 Michael McDowell HP Racing, LLC Toyota 56 4   $79,650 Electrical
41 35 46 J J Yeley Red Line Chevrolet 52 3   $79,490 Electrical
42 40 34 David Gilliland Gander Mountain Ford 44 2   $79,395 Accident
43 36 60 Mike Skinner(i) Big Red Toyota 36 0   $79,724 Rear Gear

Race Comments: Before a crowd estimated at 168,400, Matt Kenseth won the Samsung Mobile 500, his 19th
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. Prior to the green flag the following cars dropped to the rear (reason): None 

Failed to Qualify: (1) 38 Travis Kvapil(i).
Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 21 Mins, 26 Secs.
Caution Flags: 5 for 24 laps: Laps: 11-14 (Fluid on track [None]); 47-51 (#34 accident Turn 1 [71]); 115-119 (Debris [4]);
210-213 (Debris [14]); 216-221 (#5,56,78 accident backstretch [39]).
Lead Changes: 31 among 13 drivers: D. Ragan 1-10; Kurt Busch 11-14; B. Keselowski 15-46; Kurt Busch 47;
R. Gordon 48; D. Blaney 49; M. Kenseth 50-51; G. Biffle 52-58; M. Kenseth 59-94; C. Bowyer 95; C. Edwards 96;
D. Earnhardt Jr. 97-98; M. Kenseth 99-114; D. Ragan 115; Kurt Busch 116-123; M. Kenseth 124-162; C. Edwards
163-164; J. Gordon 165; M. Kenseth 166-199; C. Bowyer 200-204; M. Kenseth 205-213; C. Bowyer 214-248;
M. Kenseth 249; C. Bowyer 250; M. Ambrose 251; T. Stewart 252-256; Kurt Busch 257-269; T. Stewart 270-276;
M. Kenseth 277-294; C. Bowyer 295-296; Kurt Busch 297-320; M. Kenseth 321-334.
Top 12 Driver Points:  (1) C. Edwards 256;(2) Kyle Busch 247;(3) M. Kenseth 243;(4) J. Johnson 243;(5) Kurt Busch 240;
(6) D. Earnhardt Jr. 235;(7) R. Newman 233;(8) J. Montoya 232;(9) K. Harvick 228;(10) T. Stewart 213;
(11) P. Menard 209;(12) C. Bowyer 201.
American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award: Matt Kenseth, #17 
DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Race: Matt Kenseth, #17 crew chief Jimmy Fennig
Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race: Tom Ghent, #17 
Moog Chassis Parts Problem Solver of the Race: Dale Earnhardt Jr, #88 S Letarte, 0.062s
Sunoco Rookie of the Race: Andy Lally, #71 
# Denotes Rookie, (i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

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