Engine trouble means early exit for Kenseth
June 02, 2013, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
DOVER, Del. -- Matt Kenseth became the second Joe Gibbs Racing driver to suffer engine failure in the last two weeks, his day done after leading 29 laps of the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway. Martin Truex Jr., who also drives a car with a Toyota Racing Development engine, had to leave early as well.
Kenseth, a winner of three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season, had beaten teammate Kyle Busch off pit road following the day’s second caution and was out front when the issue arose.
"(There’s) nothing I can do about it," Kenseth said as he stood at the rear of the JGR Toyota hauler while racing resumed on the track. "I can’t do anything from a preparation standpoint, from a driving standpoint I can’t be any easier on it.
“Something’s wrong. It’s not driver induced, it’s not too many miles of practice (on the engine). Something’s wrong and it broke.”
Teammate Busch was felled by an engine issue a week earlier, during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. Busch said May 31 that he was told “each and every time I break, that there’s no fix for it.”
Both Kenseth and Busch suffered engine-related issued in the season-opening Daytona 500 as well.
“I’ve got a lot of faith in those guys,” Kenseth said Sunday. “They’ll get it figured out.”
Joe Gibbs Racing uses engines provided by TRD. The organization built it’s own engines before making the switch following the 2011 season.
“It’s just something I don’t have any control over and my race team doesn’t have any control over,” Kenseth said. “It’s disappointing. Certainly we’ve had some issues.”
“I’ve had great cars all year, really feel like JGR has three of the strongest race teams and cars in the garage. But you’ve got to be able to finish these races to win and you’ve got to be able to finish these races to try to win championships.
“Hopefully we’ll have it all figured out before September.”
Truex Jr., running in the top 10, felt the sting of a broken engine at Dover as well, falling out after 280 laps.
Michael Waltrip Racing, for whom Truex Jr. drives, also uses engines provided by TRD.
“We had a really good car, running second, third, fourth,” Truex Jr. said. “Just a little too tight on the short run; really fast on the long run.
“TRD has been doing a good job making power; it’s just a shame we have to blow them up.”
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