08 October 2012
NASCAR » Kenseth escapes last lap 'Dega carnage
"Cars were moving everywhere," he said of the last seconds of the race. "Basically I went into turn three, I was right on Kasey. I saw smoke, they all checked up. I hit him. I got hit by the #18 and somehow that turned me down on the apron and I just put it back to the floor and drove by every car, and I came out of that second behind the #17 car."
Busch said that he remembered little except Gordon's back bumper sticker. "I was quarter throttle running all over the #24, we just weren't going anywhere. The outside lanes were kind of going by us, and got to turn three and the wreck ensued," he said. "It turned Jeff just enough to turn me and we got through there all right. It's good to come out here unscathed and have the car in one piece."
Busch had spent most of the race frustrated and a lap down, after being caught speeding on pit lane on lap 59 which meant a drive-thru penalty. When he came back out on track, he'd lost the all-important pack draft and soon all leaders rolled straight past him. It took him another 80 laps of hard graft before circumstances conspired to allow him to clinch the lucky dog free pass for which he'd spent half the afternoon competing for it with Dale Earnhardt Jr., who had also been handed a speeding penalty at the same time.
After Busch came David Ragan in fourth place, followed by Regan Smith in fifth place in his last outing in the Furniture Road Racing #78 before he's dropped in favour of Kurt Busch.
"What a wild ending," said Smith. "We restarted the green-white-chequered in 28th, picked up a bunch of spots on the first lap and then came the wreck. We were involved in the mêlée and had major damage to the car, but somehow I was able to drive it to the chequered flag with a fifth-place finish.
"I need to look at replays to see how it all came about and how it all finished," he admitted. "Everything happened so quickly."
Kenseth's Roush Fenway Racing team mate Greg Biffle came home in sixth place, calling the way that the race had ended "unbelievable."
"It was the craziest thing I've ever been involved in - in my life," he said. "I was probably 20th and five-wide up against the wall, and then cars started wrecking. A car flew over the top of my car as I turned to the bottom and missed guys by three inches.
"It was like Days of Thunder coming through the smoke and the grass, and [I] just kept it going straight. That's all I did, and once I was clear of all the stuff, I kept going to the start-finish line," he added.
Kenseth, Gordon and Biffle - all still contenders in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship - scored well as a result of surviving the monumental wreck. Gordon - who had been at the bottom of the 12 Chase drivers after the first race of the play-offs - was rewarded for surviving with a four place boost in the standings to sixth. But he's still 42pts off the championship leader Brad Keselowski, which is where he was after that disastrous first outing at Chicagoland.
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