Two tire gamble gives Kenseth win at Dover

Matt Kenseth took only two tires on the final pitstop of the day and passed Mark Martin on the ensuing restart to win his second race of the 2011 season. Kenseth was one of a handful of cars who opted to take just two tires on the final pitstop, while the trio of Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer took four tires but found themselves stuck in traffic as the race closed.

Mark Martin led the field to green on the last restart after choosing to not pit, he would hang on to finish second and move up to 11th in the point standings. Marcos Ambrose tied his career best oval finish of third moving him into the top twenty in points.

All three drivers ran well on the day but the race appeared headed for a close finish between Bowyer, Edwards and Johnson. Johnson and Edwards had battled each other all day while Bowyer had worked his way up from thirty sixth. In the end Bowyer was sixth, Edwards seventh and Johnson ninth.

When asked about the decision to take two tires in lieu of four Kenseth said that he and crew cheif Jimmy Fennig were going to go to four prior to coming down pit lane. Kenseth said that he asked Fennig about two tires as he was pulling into the pits and Fennig radioed to the crew that they were changing just two tires.

That move placed him ahead of the three cars who were running ahead of him and it kept the other cars who took two behind him. In the end it was a great gamble for a driver who was as fast as anyone for much of the race.

There was some concern before the race start to whether or not all 400 laps would be completed. Qualifying was rained out, starting the field based on practice speeds.

The win was the 20th in the career of Kenseth and his second of this season. He previously won at Texas. The win all but assures him of a spot in the Chase for the Championship as long as he can stay in the top-20 in points.

John Bman
John Bman
Founder and Owner of Tireball Sports.

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