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.
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