Harry C. Risher
Greensburg Daily News
Matt Kenseth claimed his third NASCAR Sprint Cup victory of 2012, winning Sunday's 400-miler at the Kansas Speedway.
Kenseth, who won the 2012 NASCAR season opener at Daytona, and followed up with a big win at Talladega on Oct. 7, added his first win at Kansas to an impressive list of 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup career victories. Kenseth survived a 400-mile crashfest on the newly repaved Kansas Speedway which saw a track-record 14 caution flags for numerous spins and crashes. The new Kansas pavement didn't play any favorites. Several 2012 Chase points contenders like Jimmy Johnson, Greg Biffle, and Tony Stewart spun, and did varying degrees of damage to their machines in their quest for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Title.
Through all the mayhem and chaos, the diminutive veteran Kenseth emerged as the winner in his #17 Roush/Fenway Racing Ford. Kenseth was uncharacteristically emotional in victory lane celebrating his 24th NASCAR Sprint Cup victory-all in Roush/Fenway Racing Fords. Although he is going to Joe Gibbs Racing next season after 14 years with Roush/Fenway Racing, Kenseth was deeply appreciative and extremely happy to earn team owner Jack Roush his 130th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win.
Barely choking back tears Kenseth commented on his first win at Kansas.
"It means a lot!” he exclaimed. “I just have to thank God for the opportunities he has put in front of me, and the guidance He has given me throughout my life. I have to thank Jack Roush, (competition director) Robbie Reiser, and (former teammate) Mark Martin. Without them I would have never been at Roush/Fenway Racing. Today was a great team win!"
Martin Truex Jr. finished second, with Paul Menard, pole-sitter Kasey Kahne, and Tony Stewart rounding out the top five. Chase points leader Brad Keselowski finished eighth just ahead of the damaged #48 Lowe's machine of five-time champ Jimmy Johnson. Keselowski's finish maintained his slim seven-point lead over Johnson heading to the short track at Martinsville, Va. next weekend, where the NASCAR drivers battle in the seventh race in the 10-race Chase to decide the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.