By admin | June 22, 2012
By Richard Allen
Matt Kenseth is good on a number of tracks used in the Sprint Cup Series. However, Sonoma is not one of them. Over the course of his career, the 2003 NASCAR champion has scored only one top-10 finish(8th in 2008) in twelve career starts on the winding road course and has an average finish of 21st. Those are his worst statistics on any speedway.
Kenseth rolls into the northern California facility as the Sprint Cup points leader by four markers over Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who himself has an average finish of only 22nd at Sonoma. Perhaps his nearest competitorâ€™s equally poor performance on this track may be the #17 driverâ€™s only reason to believe he might actually leave wine country with his lead still intact.
Itâ€™s not that Kenseth is necessarily a terrible road course racer. He has three top-10s on the circuitâ€™s other road course at Watkins Glen and his average finish there is a more respectable 15th. Itâ€™s just that he has been terrible on this particular track. The Roush Fenway Racing driver has never led a lap in Sonoma.
Whatever happens in Sonoma this weekend is not going to make or break Kensethâ€™s season. However, he would no doubt like to improve upon his past performances at this locale. He has five finishes outside the top-20 in his career there.
But the best plan for the Sprint Cup points leader this Sunday would be to just keep the car on track, not make any major mistakes, have good pit strategy and let others make the mistakes.
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