Matt Kenseth ‘struggles’ to sixth-place finish, hopes to seal playoff spot at Richmond

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Some drivers would be ecstatic to finish sixth at a place such as Darlington Raceway.

Not Matt Kenseth. He was disappointed at his sixth-place showing in Sunday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500.

“It was a very big struggle,” the Joe Gibbs Racing driver told NBCSN. “We didn’t run well at all, Jason made some good adjustments tonight, getting it better. … We could run decent speeds for 20 laps and then we were totally junk.”

Kenseth still isn’t locked into the NASCAR Cup playoffs. He’s currently in 15th place in the playoff standings. But there’s a big caveat with that: He’s just two points behind Chase Elliott and one point ahead of 16th-ranked Jamie McMurray.

If a driver who is winless this season wins at Richmond, Kenseth needs to make sure he ends up ahead of McMurray and potentially Elliott to make the final spot — lest the Wisconsin driver finds himself on the outside looking in after the final playoff qualifying race.

“We’ve just got to running better,” Kenseth said. “All our cars are running good. We ran OK tonight, we ran top-10, but we didn’t run near good enough to win.

“I don’t feel I do the best job at this racetrack. Richmond’s a good track for us so hopefully we go there next weekend and have a good shot at a win.”