NASCAR: Kenseth wins in New Hampshire, stretches points lead

Momentum starts with Matt Kenseth’s second straight victory in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Only the winner isn’t getting ahead of himself “you take it one week at a time I just feel like the luckiest guy in the world and look forward to Dover,” Kenseth said.

Kenseth also held off teammate, Kyle Busch, for the second week in-a-row as the JGR twins slowly move away from their 11 other challengers in the points. The winner led a race-high 106-laps including the final 53. Thus Kenseth leads Busch by 14 points with five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, 18 points behind.

The 2003 Champion, who is usually reserved, appeared emotional in Victory Lane “I don’t know what to say. It’s unbelievable for me, to win at Loudon (New Hampshire Motor Speedway) is more than a stretch and more than a dream at one of my worst places,” he said with tears in his eyes.

It must be a trend for the Wisconsin native who is having his best year. The win at New Hampshire was his seventh of the season, 31st in his career and fourth win at a track he’s never won before.”

It was also his 500th start joining NASCAR legend, Richard Petty, for a victory at that milestone.

“It’s been the best season of my career,” he added. His previous best season was five wins.

Busch, who erased one second lead to get within .533 second of the winner, was obviously disappointed. “We tried everything to keep up with him,” Busch said. “A little tough to pass (at New Hampshire).”

Third place went to Greg Biffle, who along with Tony Stewart and now Kenseth, are the only drivers to take the first two races in the Chase.

“We probably reeled in the 18 (Busch) and the 20 (Kenseth) by half a straightaway, maybe a little bit more there at the end, and the 18 was definitely catching the 20,” said Biffle.

Jimmie Johnson finished fourth focusing the points race to the top three drivers. “It was better than we thought it would be,” said Johnson. “To open with 54 is great 1-1 with Matt is better.

Martin Truex Jr., who learned Thursday that the sponsorship for his MWR ride had ceased, led 93 laps, but, faded to tenth at the end.

Jeff Gordon looked to have a great shot at the win until lap 202 of the 300-lap race. He’d led from lap 167 only to slide, slightly, past his pit box. The resulting, end-of-the-line, penalty dropped to the back of the field and he clawed his way back to a 15th place finish.

There are eight races remaining in NASCAR championship.

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