Matt Kenseth had a fast car but no help when it came down the final segment of Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway. Making his debut in the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, Kenseth finished fifth behind winner Kevin Harvick, runner-up Greg Biffle, Joey Logano (the former driver of the No. 20) and Tony Stewart.
Kenseth started the specialty event 12th based on fan voting, which set the lineup by order of poles won in 2012, and led 26 laps through the three segments of the race (30, 25 and 20 laps, also set by fan vote).
He was missing his teammates Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, as both were taken out in an accident in the first segment. Busch, who started 13th in the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota, and Hamlin, who started fifth in the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, were both caught up in an accident on Lap 14, which also took out Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin.
Busch had worked his way up to eighth before getting caught up in accident, which started when Tony Stewart and Marcos Ambrose got together in front of the pack.
“The only thing I saw was a car get sideways on the bottom – I think it was Stewart,” said Busch on his website. “Then I don’t know what happened down there, but then I saw the 11 (Hamlin) and the 48 (Johnson) wreck in front of me on the top. If we could have just stayed straight then we could have missed it I think. I don’t know what happened with all that, but we got sandwiched in the fence. Just chaos ensued. We hit every corner on this thing.”
“All the M&M’s guys on this JGR team – they don’t deserve to have to work like this with our new 2013 Toyota Camry,” continued Busch. “It stinks that it was 14 laps into the race. There’s still a long way to go. We’re all learning and trying to figure out how we can pass with these things and what we have to do to make moves and everything.”
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