There was plenty of confusion Sunday at Kansas, and it cost Matt Kenseth dearly.
Now, analysts are weighing in, and they’re not being kind — at all.
The screw up came when Kenseth’s team sent seven crew members to service his car when it should have only sent six. Kenseth received a disqualification and it killed his chances at a championship.
This lack of execution caught the attention of NASCAR America co-host Nate Ryan, who shared some choice words for Kenseth’s team at Joe Gibbs Racing.
“Unfortunately, that’s been a theme for the No. 20 Toyota of Matt Kenseth throughout his time at Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Ryan. “When I saw this incident yesterday, I immediately thought back to Phoenix—2013–when Kenseth was locked in a championship battle with Jimmie Johnson, and during that race multiple bad pit stops hurt him. A poor handling race car hurt him. Another lack of execution.
Ryan added: “You can go back to Atlanta last year — same thing. The team didn’t understand a black flag penalty the correct way and they ruined a really strong car. It’s just been a reoccurring theme.
“Unfortunately, even though Matt Kenseth has been a championship contender at Joe Gibbs Racing. I think that’s going to be part of the legacy that he never really fulfilled his potential as a championship-level driver because the team made too many mistakes.”
Kyle Petty, though, had another take when he said, “They need to kook at what punishment for what the crime is.”
On lap 198–of this past weekend’s race at Kansas–Kenseth took a trip to pit road after being involved in an incident. Once he reached his pit stall, seven members of his crew began servicing the car, which is a violation of NASCAR’s 5-minute crash clock rule, thus resulting in Kenseth’s car being parked for the day, according to NBC Sports.
To go more in-depth, it is permissible for seven members of a pit crew to work on a car during a normal pit stop. The car just has to go to the tail end of the field, but when you are a part of the crash that created the caution, then you’re a part of the damaged vehicle policy. This rule was put into place so vast amounts of a team’s crew members wouldn’t be out on pit road trying to make repairs. The consequence of violating this rule is automatic disqualification from the race.
As you might have guessed, Kenseth was not pleased with this mistake and in the video above, you can hear him saying the following to his crew chief Jason Ratcliff:
“You’re telling me we sent one too many guys over the wall so we’re not going to have a chance to race for a championship because of that,” Kenseth asked. “Is that what you’re telling me?”
Ratcliff responded by saying,” Nope, I’m telling you I sent six over and somebody can’t count. That’s what I’m telling you.”