Matt Kenseth found himself at the front of Monday’s Brickyard 400 early and often, winning stage two, before going on to finish 12th in his Wyndham Rewards Ford Fusion.
“We were fairly competitive,” Kenseth said. “I felt like we had a top five to seven car. It’s hard to tell exactly because we weren’t always on the same tires, but we kept putting ourselves behind with the way the cautions fell and the way we did our strategy. And then the car fell off the jack when we were running fourth or whatever. That was pretty much the end of our day.”
In a weekend that was a complete washout, with no track activity until the green flag dropped Monday afternoon, Kenseth and the No. 6 team proved to be a contender from the start after starting 29th due to the field being set by owner’s points.
Kenseth quickly drove his way up to the top-15 before a competition yellow flew at lap 30. By lap 40, Kenseth worked his way up to 13th, before the team short-pitted prior to the stage one break. After restarting 23rd with five to go until the break, Kenseth drove forward eight positions to finish 15th at the conclusion of stage one.
After the leaders pitted, Kenseth began stage two in sixth, and from there would pick positions off one at a time, working his way to third by lap 66. Following another stop, Kenseth restarted 27th, but again picked off a pile of positions getting back up to 15th by the time a yellow flag was displayed on lap 76.
By lap 85, he broke the top-10 again and found himself fifth at lap 93. As leaders began to pit, Kenseth led the field by lap 98, and finished the second stage at the point as the stage two winner, the first stage win for the No. 6 in 2018. Following the stop, Kenseth began the final stage in ninth, and again was in the top-five by lap 125. But, on the green-flag stop, the car fell off the jack, resulting in lost time to the leaders.
Kenseth would recover, getting back on the lead lap after stops cycled, and advancing back into the top-15 with 10 to go. Kenseth would go on to finish 12th in his Wyndham Rewards Ford.
The No. 6 returns to the track next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Race coverage begins on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and PRN.