Matt Kenseth wins third NASCAR Sprint Cup race of 2012

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Roush Fenway Racing driver Matt Kenseth won his third race of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and the second of the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup following the Hollywood Casino 400 in Kansas City, Kansas yesterday. The race was the first on reconfigured Kansas Speedway and had a season-high 14 cautions.

Matt Kenseth in 2009.
Image: Rick R. Duncan.

Kenseth, who started in the twelfth position, led 78 laps of the 267-lap race. Michael Waltrip Racing driver Martin Truex, Jr. finished second, while Paul Menard finished third, ahead of Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart. Clint Bowyer, Regan Smith, Brad Keselowski, and Jimmie Johnson followed in the next four positions. Jeff Gordon managed a tenth place finish. Other drivers participating in the Chase for the Sprint Cup finished farther back, such as Denny Hamlin who finished thirteenth.

Johnson, who was second behind Keselowski in the Drivers' Championship before the event, collided into the wall halfway through the race after leading 44 laps before the caution was given for Aric Almirola's crash on lap 123. Johnson's crew managed to keep Johnson on the same lap as the leaders, allowing him to gain positions. Stewart and Greg Biffle were among other drivers who had difficulties during the race, as both had violations on pit road.

After the race, Johnson stated, "I'm definitely proud of this team and the fact that we never give up, we continue to fight and we try to get every point that we can. I'm very proud but also disappointed. I crashed the car. Spun out, trying to get inside the 56. He bobbled a little in front of me, and I thought that was an opportunity to jump on the gas real hard. When I did that, my car took off and I couldn't catch it."

Following the race, Keselowski remains the Drivers' Championship leader with 2,250 points. Seven points behind, Johnson is second with 2,243. In third, Hamlin is twenty points behind, but five ahead of Bowyer. Kahne and Truex, Jr. are fifth and sixth respectively with 2,220 and 2,207 points. Stewart, Gordon, Kenseth, and Harvick round out the top-ten positions for the Drivers' Championship with four races remaining in the season.

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