Archive for Sunday, July 25, 2004

Kenseth prevails in crash-filled Busch race

July 25, 2004

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— Matt Kenseth couldn't beat the field with speed, so he did it with strategy Saturday in the crash-filled NASCAR Busch Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway.

The reigning Nextel Cup champion, making his seventh Busch start of 2004, came up with his second win of the season and 16th of his career in the Siemens 200.

"We had a good car, but it wasn't good enough to pass everybody," said Kenseth, who started 21st in the 43-car field. "The team had to come up with a good pit strategy to get by some of those guys."

Runner-up Tim Fedewa tried to overtake Kenseth, moving alongside the leader on a restart with 13 laps to go. But Kenseth, with the outside position, was able to hold off the challenge and pulled away, winning by 1.51 seconds -- about six car-lengths.

"I got under him, but I couldn't get by him," Fedewa said.

Jason Leffler finished third, followed by Kasey Kahne and Ron Hornaday Jr., who led the first 66 laps of a race that included 10 caution flags for a total of 49 laps.

Kyle Busch was involved in two crashes. On lap 163, Busch banged off the rear of pole-starter Jamie McMurray's car and sent series leader Martin Truex Jr. banging off the wall.

Both were able to continue, and, on a restart on lap 183, Busch rammed the back of Jason Keller's car, and the two collided again as they spun. NASCAR gave Busch a one-lap penalty for rough driving, and he wound up 25th.

Busch and Keller exchanged heated words in the pits and again in the garage.

Busch is 94 points behind Truex, who finished 11th on the same track where he is set to make his Cup debut today, filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Meira wins Foyt Indy pole

Vitor Meira won the pole for the Menards A.J. Foyt Indy 225 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis.

Meira took his first pole of the season, averaging 169.338 mph at the one-mile, oval course. To earn his first Indy win today, Meira will have to hold off series points leader Tony Kanaan, who qualified second with a speed of 168.597 mph.

Meira sits in 10th place in the standings, 155 points behind Kanaan.

Meira's Rahal Letterman Racing teammate Buddy Rice finished third, followed by Sam Hornish Jr. Helio Castroneves qualified fifth.

Scott Dixon hit the wall on his second lap, damaging his car. He was taken to Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital for X-rays on his knee and ankle. He expected to race today, but would have to start at the back with a different car.

Schumacher snares pole

Michael Schumacher took his first pole in two months by leading qualifying for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, Germany, giving him a chance to match his own record of 11 wins in a season.

Schumacher had a time of 1 minute, 13.306 seconds in his Ferrari on the 2.843-mile course. Juan Pablo Montoya of Williams qualified second.

Tracy retains top spot

Paul Tracy's day-old lap was good enough to retain pole position after final qualifying Saturday for today's Molson Indy Vancouver at Vancouver, British Columbia. The Toronto driver's top time from Friday -- one minute, 0.87 seconds -- went unchallenged in Saturday's qualifying session.

Tracy's Forsythe Racing teammate Rodolfo Lavin of Mexico posted the fastest time Saturday -- 1:00.98 -- to join Tracy on the front row.

Series leader Sebastien Bourdais of France qualified third with his Friday time of 1:00.974 to anchor the second row.

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