By Brian Willwerth
Until the final 32 laps at Dover International Speedway, Matt Kenseth was not the best driver on the track. It was a race dominated by Carl Edwards and Jimmy Johnson.
But it was Kenseth’s strategy to take just two tires on the final pit stop that eventually put him in position to win Sunday’s FedEx 400 at the “Monster Mile.” It was his second win of the season; he also won at Texas Motor Speedway.
When Juan Pablo Montoya spun out to bring out the final caution, Kenseth opted for two tires, while most of the competition took four. Mark Martin stayed out while the leaders pitted, and inherited the lead on the restart. But once the #17 car took over the top spot, there was no looking back.
Martin finished second, followed by Marcos Ambrose, Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers. Edwards retained the lead.
If you happen to be one of those fans that watch races for big crashes and tempers flaring, well, this wasn’t your race. There were several, long green-flag runs. One week after their pit road blowup at Darlington, Busch and Kevin Harvick behaved themselves. Both drivers were placed on probation this past week.
Next Saturday night is the All-Star Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a non-points race. Then the following Sunday night, it’s one of NASCAR’s crown jewels: the Coca-Cola 600. I was in North Carolina for the 600 last year. Charlotte puts on an emotional, moving tribute to those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Combine that with the longest race of the year in terms of miles, and it is definitely worth tuning in for.