Saturday, February 14, 2015

Matt Kenseth Wins the Sprint Unlimited

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Matt Kenseth won the Sprint Unlimited from Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night.

Kenseth never gave up the lead over the final 20 laps, even with hard-charging Martin Truex Jr. and Carl Edwards behind him.
Photo courtesy Patrick Smith/Getty Images

“All four of our cars were fast yesterday, I had a feeling it was going to be a good week,” Kenseth said.  “We have a lot of racing left to do, but all our cars have speed.”

Kenseth, who went winless in 2014 following a 2013 season that saw him pick up seven victories, said he was happy to return to victory lane.

“It’s a great feeling,” Kenseth said.  “It’s always fun to win at Daytona for sure, but it’s fun to win anywhere.  It’s been a year, so I’m really proud of this whole team at JGR…everybody’s been working really hard.”

NASCAR’s annual exhibition race at Daytona marked the official kick-off to the 2015 season.

The race, which was split into two segments, was primarily uneventful until the end of the first 25-lap segment.  Brad Keselowski spun in front of the field, but he was the only driver involved in the accident.

The second segment, a 50-lap sprint to the finish, was marred by multiple multi-car wrecks.  The three wrecks caused the race to be red flagged twice.

The first of these accidents was the infamous “big one” that affects restrictor-plate races.  Jamie McMurray spun in front of the field, and he collected 13 other cars.  Other drivers involved included Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart.

The second wreck broke out about 15 laps later.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr. cut down a tire in the middle of the field, and he collected Austin Dillon and Danica Patrick.

After the race went back to green, it didn’t take long for another major accident to break out on the backstretch.  Tony Stewart got turned in front of Greg Biffle, and that accident also collected Kurt Busch.

The entire Sprint Cup Series returns to action on Sunday afternoon, when they will qualify for the Daytona 500.  That session will set the front row for the Great American Race, and Thursday night’s Budweiser Duels will set the rest of the field.  NASCAR’s biggest race will take place next Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST.

Unofficial results:
1. Matt Kenseth
2. Martin Truex Jr.
3. Carl Edwards
4. Casey Mears
5. Kyle Larson
6. Joey Logano
7. Jeff Gordon
8. Kyle Busch
9. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
10. Danica Patrick
11. Kevin Harvick
12. Ryan Newman
13. Tony Stewart
14. Greg Biffle
15. Kurt Busch
16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17. Austin Dillon
18. Aric Almirola
19. Denny Hamlin
20. Clint Bowyer
21. Paul Menard
22. Jimmie Johnson
23. Kasey Kahne
24. Jamie McMurray
25. Brad Keselowski

Photo courtesy Jerry Markland/Getty Images

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