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NASCAR Cup Series

Tire Issues Plague Matt Kenseth

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It was a new week, but the same song and dance for Matt Kenseth, as once again he showed speed, but didn’t get a decent finish.

Kenseth started second, then led 142 laps before blowing a right front tire on Lap 186. Though he kissed the wall, there was no damage, so he restarted at the back and worked his way back to the top five. Unfortunately another brush with the wall sent him behind the wall for repairs, and he finished 36th

“Just blew a right front (tire) two different times, two different corners,” he said. “This one was a lot worse because the angle was a lot worse headed towards the wall. Honestly, that run I was backing up, and I wasn’t really going to go fast. Kurt (Busch) was catching me, and I was ready to kind of let him go around and pace it to see how long we could make it then just blew another one. Not sure why, we weren’t having any big handling problems or brakes hot. I don’t know why.”

Kenseth’s JGR teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch both suffered right front tire failures, too.

“I don’t think we’re doing anything much different than we’ve ever done here (previously),” Kenseth said. “Same tire and pretty similar setups that we always run. No major handling problems, so I honestly don’t know.”

Goodyear Racing stated they plan on investigating the tires this week.

For Kenseth, it marks the seventh weekend this year that he’s had problems. He dropped from the lead to 14th in the Daytona 500 on the final lap, and suffered a penalty for illegal fueling at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He crashed at Las Vegas, followed by a pair of pit road penalties at Fontana.

At Martinsville, he ran up front until the last restart, then fell outside the top 10, and last week at Texas a loose wheel relegated him to an 11th-place finish.

The 2003 Cup Champion currently sits 18th in the points standings.


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Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.