News & Media

Kenseth, Fennig earn contingency awards at MIS

June 21, 2011, Official Release,

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Matt Kenseth, by his own admission, rarely qualifies well. But an unlikely starting position of third combined with a typically strong race car earned Kenseth and the No. 17 team a solid second-place finish in Sunday's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Adding to the list of accolades, the team also took home a pair of contingency awards.

Kenseth, who led the charge for Roush Fenway Racing by putting the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion third in qualifying with a lap of 188.620 mph, led three times for 17 laps. Thanks to a late-race caution, a hard-charging Kenseth was able to close on eventual race-winner Denny Hamlin over the final five laps. After getting loose while attempting a last-lap pass for the race win, Kenseth hung on to cross the finish line just .281 seconds behind Hamlin.

"Every race is important to me, but if you can do good, it is probably extra special for Jack [Roush] and Ford and those people around here and headquartered here," Kenseth said. "When you come to a track you feel like maybe is one of your better tracks, you want to take advantage of that at your good places. You want to try to perform when you can."

For his efforts behind the wheel, Kenseth earned his third American Ethanol Green Flag Restart of the Race award this year which goes to the eligible driver that records the fastest average speed on restarts and finishes the race on the lead lap. Kenseth's crew chief, Jimmy Fennig, also captured his second DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Race award given weekly to the crew chief of the driver who has demonstrated the best qualifying and race effort based on starting and finishing positions during the weekend.

The awards are part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provides teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories.

Kenseth moved up from seventh to sixth in the Sprint Cup Series points standings and now trails teammate and points leader Carl Edwards by 41 heading into Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway (3 p.m. ET, TNT).