With only 126 points separating seventh-place Kasey Kahne from 14th-place David Ragan in the standings, the five remaining races until the cutoff in the Chase for the Sprint Cup will likely see a lot of movement in position.
Matt Kenseth was the driver taking the fall outside the cut line Sunday. He had to come in for fuel late in the race after staying out when the rain began with just more than 70 laps to go. He finished 11th, passing a couple of cars that ran out of fuel on the last lap, but still dipped to 13th in the standings. He’s 11 points behind 12th-place Clint Bowyer.
“We knew when we stayed out that we were about three laps short of making it on one stop,” Kenseth said. “Everybody else was going to make it one stop so unless we had more rain or more caution laps we knew we were going to be a little short. That’s ust what we chose to do.”
Kenseth remains optimistic that his cars are fast enough to get him into the Chase – he hasn’t missed one yet. But he said having a fast car these days isn’t always good enough.
“It’s just not that kind of racing any more,” he said. “It’s figuring out how much gas you have and being in clean air. You’ve got to have a fast car to win, but it’s almost as much or more about strategy and being in front. If you have one of the fastest 15 cars and pit the race right and get lucky and all that, then you have a shot at it.”
- David Poole