After Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Matt Kenseth walked away with the best birthday present a racer could get.
Turning 41 on Sunday, Kenseth scored a win with his new team and Toyota’s first win of the NASCAR season. Kenseth also became only the third driver in series history to win on their birthday.
Three races in, all three makes of the new Gen-6 cars now have a win under their belts.
Still plagued by engine failure in the Daytona 500, several analysts questioned Kenseth’s move from a steady home at Roush Fenway Racing at the end of last season. Over his 13-year run with Roush, Kenseth became a recognizable face among winners in NASCAR’s top level of racing.
But, fortunately, the tables have seemed to turn in Kenseth’s favor to solidify his decision in moving to a new program.
Although Kasey Kahne dominated Sunday’s race early, Kenseth finally made a late race move to take the lead. Not taking tires during the final caution, Kenseth gambled on a risk that eventually worked in his favor.
Kahne chased the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota of Kenseth for the final 20 laps, but never could regain ground. Even though Kahne was running on a fresher set of tires and was better getting out of the corners, he just did not have the momentum to catch Kenseth who was using lapped traffic to his advantage.
Rounding out the top five were Kahne, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. Because Friday’s qualifying runs were rained out, Keselowski started the race on the pole after positions were determined by last year’s final point standings.
This week, NASCAR will travel to Bristol for a look at their first short track in Sunday’s Food City 500.
About the Author
Written by Ashley Gulick
Sports Journalism is my passion! I keep up with the latest news on pro/college football, NASCAR and baseball....and just about everthing else. I grew up in Talladega, Ala., but moved to Georgia when I was 15. From a young age, I always knew that I wanted to be involved with sports somehow. Once I got into college and completed my degree in Communications, I knew that I had a passion for sports journalism. I have covered sports for the Kennesaw Sentinel (KSU's student paper), Marietta Daily Journal and Douglas County Sentinel.