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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)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualified for seventh position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Busch is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualified for sixth position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, qualified for second position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Gordon leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s Chevrolet SS, won the pole position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Harvick is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, poses with the pole award after qualifying fastest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, poses with his wife DeLana, son Keelan, and the pole award after qualifying fastest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, and the rest of the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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