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Kenseth’s “lame duck” term has been…well, lame

By admin | October 1, 2012

By Richard Allen

When Matt Kenseth qualified for the Chase for the Championship, he said he didn’t think his status as a ‘lame duck’ would have much of an impact on his bid for a second NASCAR title. However, his first three races in the ten race playoff have been nothing less than disastrous.

Kenseth has that lame duck status because he announced back in the summer that he was leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the 2012 season. It was later revealed that he would drive the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota next year and beyond.

In the races held in Chicago, New Hampshire and Dover, the 2003 champion has posted finishes of 18th, 14th and 35th respectively. But it isn’t just the results that are so bad. It’s the way Kenseth and his team are going about achieving those finishes that is creating the disaster.

In Chicago, the RFR car actually had a shock fall off during the running of the race. Needless to say, that’s an incredibly rare and detrimental thing to have happen. Sunday’s Dover race saw Kenseth’s machine break a rear end component that resulted in #17 Ford trailing smoke and causing a caution.

Soon after, Kenseth returned to the track but the offending piece broke again and sent the car for a spin. The driver immediately voiced his frustration over the team radio when he insisted, “Let’s go to the garage and fix this son of a bitch right instead of trying to kill me again.”

The driver’s troubles have caused some fans to believe he is the victim of sabotage by his jilted team. However, it would be hard to imagine crew chief Jimmy Fennig and the rest of that crew not working as hard as they have for their driver all along.

What may very well have happened is that some of those crew members might have become distracted by the upcoming change. That would just be human nature for such to take place. Or, this could simply be an unusual run of bad luck.

Whatever the case, Matt Kenseth’s so called ‘lame duck’ term at RFR has been a disappointment at the least and just flat out lame at the worst.

Topics: Articles |

3 Responses to “Kenseth’s “lame duck” term has been…well, lame”

  1. Tony Geinzer Says:
    October 2nd, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Who can we blame, the Playboy Owner John Henry, the Steel Driving Tool who knows how to ruin 3 Good Things in Liverpool English Football where he beat Sir Paul to the Ownership Chair, Boston Red Sox where he artificially raised expectations faster than diabetes and Roush Racing, where Jack Roush wishes he’d never mess with the Chunky Monkey of a Steel Driving Fool.

  2. Michael in SoCal Says:
    October 2nd, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Personally, with the 17 team changing drivers next season, and Kenseth running in 12th in the championship standings, I’d be using the 17 car for R&D for next season, trying new parts and attachments to see if they would last a full race.

  3. RacingFan Says:
    October 2nd, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Even though I was sad to see Matt leaving his team, it will be interesting to see how he does at Gibbs. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him do better. I remember when a young Matt Kenseth substituted for Bill Elliott at Dover and showed surprising speed.
    Some drivers have impressed me when they substituted for a good driver and did even better. Two other examples are David Pearson coming out of retirement to set up the car for Dale Jarrett at Charlotte and turning surprising fast laps and Jimmy Hensley winning the pole for Dale Earnhardt’s car at a short track when Dale didn’t usually qualify well.
    I like and admire Jimmy Fenning, but there is only so much he can do when the whole organization is not on par with the top teams.