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2013 Kansas NASCAR: Kenseth clinches a second for JGR

Kenseth's team mate Kyle Busch had also been for a harmless spin of his own on lap 6. Despite coming off a high after sweeping Texas last week, Busch approached Kansas with trepidation as it's always been a bogey track for him that he simply can't seem to get to grips with, especially since the recent repaving project has made it super-smooth.

"Running third doing fine, car a little tight and you spin out. Don't know what to do with that and then we're back in traffic all day," he said of that early setback. "Traffic is way worse. Just trying to get back up to the front and making some gains, but car just snaps out from you every corner.”

The #18 did the same again on lap 103, and this time with devastating consequences: not only did Busch take a hard impact into the wall at turn 4, but then the car slid down the banking and collected the speeding #22 Penske Racing car despite Joey Logano's best attempts at avoidance. Both cars were absolutely wrecked by the impact.

“I watched the #18 and he was spinning out, and I saw it the whole time," recalled Logano afterwards. “It looked like he was going to stay up there because he kind of slapped the wall with the right side after he hit it the first time, so I'm like, 'All right, I'm gonna gun it and get by him [down] here.' And as soon as I committed to that, I saw him start coming back down."

Coming on top of the serious penalties and suspensions dolled out to the Penske team mid-week for rules transgressions at Texas, it's been a depressing week for the team. Logano himself has plummeted to 20th position in the Sprint Cup standings after the events of the last seven days.

"We weren't gonna gain many points this weekend, but we were gonna try to rally for the best possible finish we could get out of it, but it's not good for us," Logano admitted.

The departure of one of his JGR team mates from the race also seemed to sap some of Kenseth's early dominance, as divergent race strategies saw the #20 losing the lead of the race at the restart to Martin Truex Jr. Jimmie Johnson and then Carl Edwards, Kenseth's old team mate at Roush Fenway Racing, subsequently perked up and took over the lead for a spell, but it was surely when Edwards handed off the race lead to his rookie team mate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. that Kenseth got fired up again. Stenhouse was at the wheel of the #17 car that had been Kenseth's home for the better part of a decade: getting back in front was now a point of principle!

Before he could do so there was cautions for Kenseth's sole remaining JGR team mate Brian Vickers (sitting in for Denny Hamlin) spinning in turn 2 on lap 174, and a multi-car accident on lap 182 that wrecked Sam Hornish Jr. Casey Mears and also caught up Marcos Ambrose, Danica Patrick and David Gilliland.

"I was rolling the top there and the #9 [Ambrose] got loose," explained Mears. "He was loose for a long time and I slowly, slowly checked up and the #38 [Gilliland] never did and tagged the back of me. We probably would have just spun off into the infield, but we collected whoever spun with us and tore the car up really bad. It's just a bad day."

"I couldn't see anything," Hornish admitted. "I saw the back of the [Gilliland] and then I saw the #9 [Ambrose] sitting sideways right at the exit of the corner. I lifted and turned down, which made my hit to the inside wall harder because as soon as you lift and put all that weight up there it gives me enough turn to try to get away from the #9, but then I can't get it back in the other direction."




Related Pictures

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Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 The Home Depot/Husky Toyota, leads a group of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on April 21, 2013 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 The Home Depot/Husky Toyota, and Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford, lead the field into turn one after passing the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on April 21, 2013 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 The Home Depot/Husky Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on April 21, 2013 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by John Harrelson/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 AAA Ford, walks past his damaged car in the garage area after an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on April 21, 2013 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, drives his damaged car into the garage area during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on April 21, 2013 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to a sixth place finish Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Gordon finishes third in the Chase for the Cup Championship. This was Gordon`s last race as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. He has made 796 consecutive Cup Series starts, earned 93 wins, and 81 poles - all behind the wheel of Chevrolets. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing Team battled back from a bad re-start after the first caution of the race to finish 17th in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Photo Credit: Campbell Marketing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Former racing driver Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton pose during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
A general view as cars pit during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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