Matt Kenseth earned his fourth top-five of the 2017 season, finishing fourth in Sunday’s Overton’s 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Kenseth was one of three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers to finish in the top-6 in the race: Denny Hamlin won JGR’s first race of 2017, Kenseth finished fourth and Daniel Suarez was sixth (Kyle Busch finished 12th).
Kenseth led just four laps but remained in the top-10 for most of the race. Strategy kind of backfired on Kenseth and the No. 20 team late in the race: they chose to go with two tires instead of four.
“After we came off pit road with two tires, no, I didn’t think it was going to be us, because there was nobody behind us, they were still putting lefts (side) on,” Kenseth said. “I felt like we had the car, we just needed to have those left side tires on at the end.”
Kenseth now has one third-place finish (Atlanta) and three fourth-place showings (Bristol, Charlotte, Loudon) in 2017.
Kenseth is still looking for his first win of 2017, as the number of races he has remaining with Joe Gibbs Racing whittles down now to seven to make the playoffs and 17 overall races, including the 10-race playoffs.
“That’s all way out in the future, that doesn’t change anything we do today,” Kenseth said. “We don’t try any harder and you don’t try any less. You do the best you can every week. When you try to do anything different than that, the results always go downhill.
“We raced as hard as we could today, they gave me a great race car, but it just didn’t work out.”