By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Matt Kenseth’s season of consistent struggles continued Sunday in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
After looking a sure contender for the race win, Kenseth crashed just 187 laps into the 500 lap event. Kenseth confirmed that it was a tire failure that plagued his No. 20 Dollar General Toyota, forcing hard contact with the wall and damaging the right side of his car.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver managed to work his way up to third after restarting 26th, but not long after Kenseth was hit with another tire failure, this time hitting the wall significantly harder in Turn 3. The damage was significant enough that Kenseth was forced to the garage for repairs.
Tire failures also hit Kenseth’s teammate, Kyle Busch, who retired 38th.
Kenseth, a four-time winner in the Sprint Cup Series at Bristol, was 36 laps down the leader when he returned to the track, eventually finishing 36th.
Despite leading in all but one race this season, Kenseth has only one top 10 to his credit.
Even with one of the roughest starts to a season in his Sprint Cup career, Kenseth still has a reason to feel optimistic despite the tire woes.
“We just keep blowing right front tires,” said Kenseth. “I don’t know why. The first one was a little confusing, I knew I blew a right front, but I thought they were telling me it wasn’t flat so I was a little confused. This one just blew a lot earlier and the angle was a lot worse hitting the wall. We really weren’t very tight. Our Dollar General Camry was pretty fast today. I was encouraged again today even though we don’t have the result.
“I have a smile on my face and we’ll go to Richmond and try again.”
Image: Robert Laberge/Getty Images