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Matt Kenseth laments how good race turned bad; lucky to finish ninth

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 16: Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DEWALT FLEXVOLT Toyota, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 16, 2016 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

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It was a bittersweet day for Matt Kenseth in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

The good part was he maintained his second-place position in the standings, just eight points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson.

But that was about the only thing good that came out of Sunday’s race, said Kenseth, who started from the pole, led a race-high 116 of 267 laps but finished what he considered a disappointing ninth.

“It was really bad,” Kenseth said of his overall race. “We had a good car and not sure how I did it, but I hit the wall getting into turn one and then in the middle of the race I started losing some handle a little bit when the track changed.

“I lost track of where I was and hit the wall. It was an uphill battle from there and then at the end I thought we still had a shot at a top-five out of it but (Alex Bowman) just hung a left as hard as he could and knocked our right fender off and then I was just dead in the water.”

With the way he dominated the first half of the race, it appeared this would be Kenseth’s race to win. But things didn’t work out that way.

Trying to put together a complete race is “never easy,” Kenseth said. “We got off a little bit. We led early and as the track rubbered up we got off on our handle a little bit and lost a few spots to (Chase Elliott) and (Kevin Harvick). Some of those guys had some real good short-run speed.

“Then I got into the wall right after I lost a couple spots and that really put us behind. But, I thought we were going to come back from it and I’m not sure what (Bowman) was doing. He came right across the track and cleaned the right front fender off. We were lucky to finish, so thankful we still got ninth out of it after that.”

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