Bank of America 500 Pit Note #20
Bank of America 500 Race Recap
Matt Kenseth took the lead from Kyle Busch on the last restart of the evening with fewer than 15 laps to go and won the 52nd running of the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kenseth claimed his third win of the year and moved up to third in points in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase for the Sprint Cup. Busch finished second and held off a late race challenge by third-place finisher Carl Edwards. Rounding out the top five were Kasey Kahne in fourth and Marcos Ambrose in fifth.
Busch led most of the second half of the race until a series of late-race cautions kept the field jumbled. Track position was critical and several drivers had to gamble to get to the front.
Jimmie Johnson took a hard hit into the second turn wall, but emerged from the incident uninjured.
Following the Bank of America 500, Edwards holds the Chase points lead by five points over Kevin Harvick and Kenseth is seven points behind Edwards.
Kenseth averaged 146.194 mph as the race was slowed by eight caution periods for a total of 34 laps. There were 16 lead changes among 10 drivers. Time of the race was 3 hours, 25 minutes, 37 seconds. Rounding out the top 10 were Harvick in sixth, followed by A.J. Allmendinger, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman.
Dave Rogers (Crew Chief, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota, Second Place)
“Our car was really fast tonight. What a team effort. We saw so many cars get back in traffic. Earlier, the 48 [Jimmie Johnson] was fast, but he lost track position and fell back to 15th and just rode there. So, we had to start 43rd and drove to the front. It is a team effort. Kyle [Busch] did a tremendous job of being patient. The pit crew executed phenomenally; they nailed it on pit road. We picked up spots every time we pitted. There when we took two tires early in the race and came out second – I have to give ‘hats off’ to my engineers. I was thinking four [tires] and they were both tugging on my shirt and saying no, no, we need two, let’s get that track position. It seemed to be the way to go. So, a total team effort. I really wish we could have gotten the win. Kyle loves Charlotte Motor Speedway, and we would love to be in the Media Center celebrating right now. To start 43rd and finish second, I don’t think we can complain about that.”
Gil Martin (Crew Chief, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, Sixth Place)
“We were too tight all night. We loosened the car up a lot right there at the end. We saved us a set of tires there for the end that we thought would be our most free of the night. The car was at its best there at the end. We were still too tight. We didn’t get it as free as we needed to, but it was at its best when we needed it to be. Coming in to Charlotte and coming out of Charlotte, if you would have told me that we would be just five points behind, I would be happy. I think we have our five best tracks coming up. And heck, we are still in this thing hard.”