By admin | February 24, 2009
By Richard Allen
By winning Sundayâ€™s Auto Club 500 in Fontana, California Matt Kenseth became the fifth driver in NASCAR history to win the seasonâ€™s first two races. He had won the Daytona 500 the previous week.
No driver in the modern era has ever started a season with three consecutive wins. This weekend Kenseth has a chance to place himself alone in the history books if he is able to take the checkered flag first in the Shelby 427 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Think Kenseth has run out the string? Is it that three wins in a row to start the season just too difficult?
Donâ€™t count the Roush Fenway Racing driver out too soon. Statistically, Las Vegas is one of Kensethâ€™s better tracks. His average finish over the course of his career on this track is 9th in nine races. That is tied with the Auto Club Speedway for his best average finishing position.
The Ford driver has two wins, four Top5s and five Top 10s in â€˜Sin Cityâ€™.
A big part of the success of the #17 team has been the work of the pit crew. Kenseth has been able to gain positions on most of his pit stops this season. On tracks where it is difficult to pass the value of a good pit crew can not be overstated.
New crew chief Drew Blickensderfer has provided a spark for this team and driver who went winless in 2008.
Add to that, The RFR team puts out dependable cars week after week. The likelihood of Kenseth finishing the Shelby 427 is very high.
This past weekend was an historic one in NASCAR. Kyle Busch became the first driver in history to win two sanctioned races in one day when he won the Camping World truck race and the Nationwide race on Saturday. Then, Kenseth joined a very small club when he added his second win in as many races for 2009.
This weekend in Las Vegas could see the history books having to be rewritten again if Matt Kenseth should winâ€¦and itâ€™s entirely possible.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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