Kenseth overcomes ‘The Monster’ for second win of season

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Matt Kenseth won the Neighborhood Excellence 400 at Dover, Del., Sunday, June 4.

The track known as “The Monster”, ended up being friendly to the Cambridge, Wis., native. Kenseth was able to wrestle the lead from his Roush Racing teammate Jamie McMurray with only three laps left in the race.

After starting the DeWalt Ford in the 17th position, it was clear by the midway point that Kenseth had a strong car. His toughest battle of the day was against Kevin Harvick. The two exchanged positions on the track while chasing McMurray late in the contest. After finally getting around Harvick for good, Kenseth was able to squeeze by McMurray and cruise to the victory.

The win is Kenseth’s first-ever at the “Monster Mile.” It is his second Nextel Cup victory of 2006.

Rockford native Chad Knaus, crew chief for Jimmie Johnson, deserved much of the credit for getting his driver a top-10 finish in the race. Johnson started 42nd, due to a spin during qualifying. He spun the Lowe’s Chevrolet again during the race, and went a lap down. Thanks to several key decisions by Knaus, Johnson was able to finish the race in the sixth spot.

As a result of his remarkable finish, Johnson was able to hold on to the lead in the season’s point standings. He has a 74-point edge over Kenseth. Mark Martin is third, 216 points behind Johnson.

The series moves to Long Pond, Pa., for the Pocono 500 this Sunday, June 11. Race begins at 12:30 p.m., and will be televised on the FOX network.

Doug Halberstadt is a local resident and is track announcer at Rockford Speedway. He can be reached via e-mail at

From the June 7-13, 2006, issue

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