The careless mistake that crushed Matt Kenseth’s NASCAR championship hopes – For The Win
Matt Kenseth’s championship hopes were destroyed with one simple, careless mistake Sunday.
During the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway — the final race in the playoffs Round of 12 that will eliminate four drivers — Kenseth was involved in a crash on lap 197 of 267, along with playoff driver Jamie McMurray.
Kenseth entered Sunday’s race 10th in the playoff standings and needed a win to guarantee his spot in the Round of 8. Instead, when he brought his No. 20 Toyota to pit road after the wreck, one too many crew members jumped over the wall to try and repair the damage.
The punishment? He was disqualified from the race, effectively shattering any championship hopes for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.
“Any team sending too many men over the wall will result in that car being removed from the race. …
“When a car is damaged and repairs are made on pit road, teams know they will be at the tail end of the longest line, so extra men often go over the wall. (Each team is allowed six to work on the car and one to service the driver and/or windshield.)”
The No. 20 team clearly had seven crew members working on the car, and none of them were helping Kenseth or tearing off a layer of his windshield.
So that’s that. Kenseth — the 2003 Cup Series champion – will finish his final season with JGR without advancing to the Round of 8 in the playoffs. The 45-year-old driver still does not have a ride for the 2018 season.