Home Matt Kenseth wins Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at RIR

Matt Kenseth wins Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at RIR


RIRlogoMatt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota, scored his fourth win of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at the Federated Auto Parts 400 “under the lights” at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday.

In dominating fashion, Kenseth led 352 laps tonight leading to his victory over his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch, who finished second tonight. Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. rounded out the top five.

The victory in the “Last Race to Make the Chase” moved Kenseth to the second seed on the Chase Grid. Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Paul Menard, and Clint Bowyer raced their way into the Chase tonight at RIR. All 16 drivers who made the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup took to the stage at Post-Race Party.

Confetti, pyro, thunder sticks, and big heads made fans pumped up to see all 16 drivers in one place for the first time. These drivers will move on to the Challenger Round, and battle it out to see who will be crowned the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion.

2015 Chase Drivers
Jimmie Johnson Brad Keselowski
Kyle Busch Martin Truex Jr.
Matt Kenseth Denny Hamlin
Joey Logano Jamie McMurray
Kevin Harvick Jeff Gordon
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ryan Newman
Kurt Busch Paul Menard
Carl Edwards Clint Bowyer


The following are highlights from tonight’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race coverage on NBCSN.

Analyst Steve Letarte on the importance of restarts: “Restarts have been a hot topic of discussion in all the drivers meetings the last few weeks. It is something that many drivers are being very vocal about, because that is where positions are either gained or lost.”

Analyst Jeff Burton on Denny Hamlin’s impressive performance after this week’s ACL injury: “I think a lot of people thought he didn’t qualify well because he had a knee injury. Denny Hamlin is saying ‘My knee hurts, but that is not going to interfere with our performance.’ I think his performance here tonight is showing people that.”

Letarte on what ultimately matters in racing: “There is a reason this is a 400 lap race. They don’t give out trophies for leading the most laps. They don’t give out trophies for leading practice. They give out trophies for the 400th lap, you must lead that one. No one cares how well you ran the whole race, we all talk about the winner.”

Kenseth’s crew chief, Jason Ratcliff, to reporter Dave Burns: “I believe a 100 percent in momentum and right now I would say we have a lot going into the Chase next week.”

Race Winner Kenseth to reporter Kelli Stavast: “As a company, we are on a roll, they have given me some fast cars here the last couple months.”

Letarte on points in the Chase: “With the first round of the Chase only being three races before we eliminate cars, bonus points could be huge. We saw tonight how close it can get in one night.”

Burton on the pressure set for Chase drivers: “It is going to be interesting to see who can step up. The pressure is going to get ratcheted up all throughout out this entire Chase.”

Aric Almirola to reporter Mike Massaro on just missing the Chase: “I drove my heart out tonight, all year long really.”

Paul Menard to Burns on securing his position in the Chase: “I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. It was such a bad race for us tonight, but obviously very excited to be in the Chase.”

Clint Bowyer to Stavast after securing his spot in the Chase: “Pressure is off, let’s go have some fun.”

Jeff Gordon on his 11th Chase in 12 years to Burns: “I’m excited. There was a lot of pressure in this final season to make the Chase. I’m glad we finally got that done.”

Tonight’s runner up Kyle Busch to Stavast: “I had fun running with Matt, or trying to run with Matt. I could only do it for about 10 or 20 laps, and then he started running away.”



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