News & Media

Kenseth's wall bump turns out good

October 22, 2012, Joe Menzer,

Brush with danger pushed No. 17 team to a favorable pit cycle en route to win

Eventual race winner Matt Kenseth thought his day was done when he hit the wall while trying to avoid the spinning car of Aric Almirola on Lap 173 of the 267-lap Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on Sunday.

But instead, it turned into a race-changing moment that worked in his favor. Not only was the crew able to pound Kenseth's No. 17 Ford back into shape during a subsequent pit stop, but it also enabled Kenseth to get on a favorable pit cycle that was out of sequence with the other race contenders.

When the cautions fell the right way for him over the final 94 laps, he cycled his way to the front. And on his final pit stop, he got out faster than the rest of the contenders because he didn't need to pack as much fuel into his car to make it to the finish without stopping again.

"I thought it was over when I got into the fence ... but it ended out working in our favor," Kenseth said. "They fixed the body as good as it was when he started, and we ended up having to take less gas in that final pit stop, and the pit crew put me out front."

Once there, that's where he stayed for the final 49 laps.