Kenseth goes from 1st to worst feeling after Daytona fade

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 21, 2016

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) Matt Kenseth was one lap away from his third Daytona 500 victory.

In a flash, Kenseth lost it all Sunday - the lead, the win, even a top-10 finish.

Kenseth was rolling in the No. 20 Toyota, leading 40 straight laps with only one more to go to the checkered lap.

He just missed.

''There's a million things you could do differently,'' Kenseth said.

Kenseth was out front and leading Martin Truex Jr. until the final lap. Denny Hamlin, who was running fourth, jumped out of line, moved to the outside and caught Kenseth. Kenseth tried to throw a block, but Hamlin wedged into the middle between Kenseth and Truex. Kenseth drifted wider, toward the wall, and had to save his car from wrecking.

Kenseth, who won the Daytona 500 in 2009 and 2012, faded to 14th and saw teammate Hamlin win the big one for Joe Gibbs Racing.

''If I can't win, I want my teammate to win,'' Kenseth said. ''That's what being teammates is all about, is to get everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing running good and we did that today.''

Hamlin beat Truex by 0.010 seconds in the closest finish in the history of the race. Kenseth so badly wanted to be the driver to win JGR's first Daytona 500 title since Dale Jarrett in 1993.

Kenseth said he wanted to hold the lead with one lap remaining.

''I wouldn't trade that position for anybody in the whole field,'' Kenseth said. ''I didn't really think the outside was going to muster up enough run to get it to be honest with you. Somehow, (Hamlin) just got a massive run. Hindsight I probably should have stayed in front of Martin and tried to race him back to the line. It looked like he was going so fast I could get in front of him and get a little boost and I just couldn't.''

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mood 'somber' as Butler prepares to undergo MRI on injured knee

FBI docs show widespread payments to top college, HS players

Report: LeBron questioned Cavs GM’s absence from road trip

Jonathan Martin detained after seeking help at hospital

Chiefs trade Marcus Peters to Rams

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rays lose Brent Honeywell for season to torn UCL

Warriors, Wolves, Thunder all eyeing Joakim Noah?

Legal expert: 'Real chance NBA could come down hard' on Mavs

Jaguars extend Coughlin, Marrone, Caldwell

Siemian downplays Broncos players pining for Cousins

Report: Panthers, Saints could be interested in Landry trade

Mr. T gives pep talk to US curling team ahead of gold-medal match

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cuban forced to face culture of misogyny in Mavs front office

The 'Let’s play QB roulette' quiz

NHL Weekender: Playoff races heat up as trade deadline looms

14 NBA X-factors who will tip the scales in the postseason

MLB breakout candidates for the 2018 season

No one wants to jump with Dennis Smith Jr.

NFL players who could be traded before draft

Negro Leaguers every baseball fan should know

Top MLB Cy Young candidates heading into 2018

The greatest barrier-breaking African-American moments in MLB history

Faltering Blackhawks face tough decisions at deadline

NASCAR News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cuban forced to face culture of misogyny in Mavs front office

MLB breakout candidates for the 2018 season

The 'Let’s play QB roulette' quiz

NHL Weekender: Playoff races heat up as trade deadline looms

No one wants to jump with Dennis Smith Jr.

The 'Kawhi so serious?' quiz

Top MLB Cy Young candidates heading into 2018

25 best MLB players under 25

The 'Red Sox finally get their guy' quiz

MLB's top 10 first basemen for 2018

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker