Matt Kenseth Gets Short-Handed Win at Darlington
NASCAR Wire Service: Matt Kenseth capped a banner week for unsinkable Joe Gibbs Racing with a victory in Saturday night's Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway with a substitute crew chief on his pit box, Wally Brown. Journeyman Brown won his first race as a Cup crew chief, after serving with four different drivers before his one-week shot on the pit box with Kenseth, who will get regular crew chief Jason Ratcliff back next week at Charlotte after Ratcliff's six-race suspension for an underweight connecting rod was reduced to one event on appeal. On Friday, Gibbs cars ran 1-2-3 in the Nationwide Series race at Darlington, and the organization followed that Saturday with a 1-2 finish from Kenseth and Denny Hamlin in the 11th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season. Kenseth took the lead from JGR teammate Kyle Busch on Lap 355 of 367 and pulled away to win by 3.155 seconds over Hamlin, as Busch faded to sixth. Hamlin also had much to celebrate in his first full race back from a compression fracture to his first lumbar vertebra, sustained during a last-lap crash at Fontana, Calif., in late March.
Next Up: All Star Race
Race: Sprint All-Star Race
Race Length: 90 laps, split into four, 20-lap
segments, followed by a 10-lap shootout
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway - 1.5 mile
2012 Winner: Jimmie Johnson
Radio: MRN Radio - Sat., May 18 - 5:30 pm CDT
TV: SPEED - Saturday, May 18 - 6:00 pm CDT
INDY 500 Pole Day Set for Saturday, May 18
The starting lineup for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be set after two days of qualifying this Saturday and Sunday. Saturday,
May 18 is Pole Day. During the first five hours of qualifying, the top 24 spots in the 33-car field will be available. Each car will be allowed three
attempts at their best four-lap average. Once the first segment is over, the fastest nine cars will be required to make at least one, four-lap
qualifying attempt during the final 90-minute session. Each driverʼs best run will set their starting spot in the top nine on the starting grid for the race. Sunday, May 19 is Bump Day, where positions 25 through 33 will be available. Once 33 cars have qualified, “Bumping” will begin, where any car not already in the lineup can “Bump” the slowest car out of the field with a faster 4-lap average. The fastest 33 cars will start the Indianapolis 500, which will run on May 26.
The Joe Gibbs Racing trio of Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle
Busch have combined to win five races and five pole starting spots in the first eleven races this year.
Stewart-Haas Racingʼs Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, and Ryan Newman have just one, Top-5 finish between them so far this year.
1 JIMMIE JOHNSON
2 Carl Edwards -44
3 Matt Kenseth -59
4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. -64
5 Clint Bowyer -74
6 Kasey Kahne -97
7 Brad Keselowski -97
8 Kyle Busch -98
9 Aric Almirola -106
10 Kevin Harvick -108
WC Paul Menard Points
WC Jeff Gordon Points