If you’re a Matt Kenseth fan, one way to put a positive spin on all the bad luck and misfortune he and the No. 20 team endured in the first 10 races of 2016 was they were just getting warmed up.
And perhaps with Saturday’s season-best fourth-place finish – Kenseth’s first top-five and only third top-10 of the season – maybe those same fans are optimistic that it’ll be much smoother sailing going forward.
Late in Saturday’s GoBowling 400 at Kansas Speedway, Kenseth and Kyle Busch were side-by-side on the final restart. Both got a good jump and looked like they were headed for a 1-2 Joe Gibbs Racing finish.
Kenseth was obviously happy with his showing, and hopes it’s a sign of even better things to come – like a win or two or three.
“It’s our best finish of the year, so that’s the bright side,” Kenseth said, although somewhat lamenting it was Busch that won and not himself.
“I’m sort of happy for Kyle (Busch) and Adam (Stevens, 18 crew chief), but seriously happy for everyone at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing),” Kenseth said. “Martin (Truex Jr.) had them covered and I don’t know what happened to him in the pits or whatever.”
Kenseth felt he had a car that could catch Truex, who led 172 laps of the 267-lap race, and could stay even with Busch’s car.
“We were about a second to fourth-place car most of the day,” he said. “I thought we were as good as the 18 (Busch) if we could have had the position, but it was tough to stick on that bottom.
“I tried something different there to try to lay back and get the pass, but once they were single file I couldn’t go get them. We were just a little off, but these guys had great pit stops and great adjustments and we seem to be getting closer.”