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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)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS qualified for eleventh position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Earnhardt, Jr. is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS qualified for sixth position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS qualified for third position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Belkin/Wemo Chevrolet SS qualified for second position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates setting the pole position during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, speaks at a press conference following practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, smiles at Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate a Driver Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, prepares for practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose in the Richard Petty Motorsport garage at Sonoma Raceway on June 20, 2014 (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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