NASCAR parks Matt Kenseth, ending his Playoff hopes

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 22: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Halloween Toyota, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Flexvolt Toyota, lead a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 22, 2017 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Matt Kenseth’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff ended abruptly under a red flag Sunday at Kansas, after his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was damaged in a 14-car pileup on the backstretch.

Erik Jones, who will replace Kenseth in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing ride next season, lost control of his No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota and ignited the wreck. Kenseth brought his wounded car to pit road, where seven crewmen—one more than the six allowed by rule–began repairs.

Under NASCAR’s damaged vehicle policy, the penalty for that violation is disqualification, and Kenseth was informed by his crew chief that he was out of the race—and consequently out of the Playoff.

“I don’t know a lot about it,” Kenseth said of the rule that ousted him. “Honestly, I’ve never heard of disqualifying somebody from a race if you got one too many guys over the wall, or whatever happened there. I don’t really know.

“I really don’t have a lot of good things to say at the moment, so I’ll probably try not to say much. Pretty disappointing way to end. Can’t even go back on the race track because of the error we made. It’s just – couldn’t be any more disappointed.”

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.