Matt Kenseth explains how he handled restarts in ‘brutally hot’ Brickyard 400
Joe Gibbs Racing appears poised to resume their domination in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series once again.
Kyle Busch absolutely dominated Sunday’s Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard, leading 149 of 170 laps en route to his fourth victory of the season.
And Matt Kenseth was right behind him, finishing second in a race where drivers had to overcome the heat and overtime restarts.
After starting 18th, Kenseth wasted no time driving his No. 20 Toyota up to the front early in the race.
When asked about the final restart, where he started third behind teammate Busch and Team Penske’s Joey Logano, Kenseth seemed pleased he wasn’t asked to recall all of them.
Just that last one? That was nice of you," said Kenseth. "The last one we had, obviously the bottom was the choice, but the 22 (Logano), I don’t think anybody restarts better than him the last handful of years, especially that initial launch through the gears. With him doing it outside, he did a spectacular job of still being beside Kyle when we got to Turn 1 and I wasn’t up there as close as I was hoping to get, and he cleared him."
Kenseth also noted he was lucky to get by Logano and hold off Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin for the runner-up result.
I barely got under Joey (Logano), and I was really tight so I actually barely got by him and just barely held off the 48 (Johnson) and 11 (Hamlin)," said Kenseth. "But got through the gears fine and got in position, just couldn’t do anything when I got there."
Kenseth, with two wins on the year at Dover International Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway, also blamed steamy temperatures as one of the main reasons why the stands weren’t completely full on Sunday.
"It was like 120 degrees out there (Sunday)," Kenseth said. "I heard that there was a state of emergency they declared before the race that told everybody to stay indoors. I’m sure that doesn’t help, either."
"It was pretty brutally hot today, but I don’t know, I’m the wrong guy to ask," he added. "I’m pretty focused on trying to drive race cars and trying to figure out how to make race cars faster. I’m not a promoter or track owner or any of that stuff."