Advertisement
  1. Sports

Kenseth going out in winning style

NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth, left, and team owner Joe Gibbs talk in the garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., on May 27, 2017. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS) 1215247
Published Nov. 12, 2017

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Matt Kenseth might be going away, but he's not going quietly.

Kenseth won for the first time this season, snapping a 51-race winless streak, in what might have been the second-to-last Cup race of his NASCAR career. Kenseth does not have a job lined up for next year and said he'll take a break at the start of the season.

"Just got one race left and everybody dreams of going out a winner," a tearful Kenseth said after climbing from his Toyota.

"It's just been quite a journey, and today was a really special day for me, to know that next week is almost for sure my last week behind the wheel."

Kenseth passed Chase Elliott with 10 laps remaining to win Sunday's Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway and deny Elliott the final berth in next week's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup championship race. Had Elliott hung on for the win, he would have qualified for next Sunday's championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Brad Keselowski earned the final spot because a playoff-eligible driver did not win the race. Keselowski will race Martin Truex, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick for the championship.

Kenseth, a former NASCAR champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner, is 45 and being replaced at Joe Gibbs Racing next season by Erik Jones.

Denny Hamlin's feud with Elliott cost him a chance to get into the championship. During the race, Elliott pulled alongside Hamlin and the two cars made contact. Hamlin grazed the wall and began losing positions.

Just a few laps later, his tire blew. Hamlin hit the wall and his race was over. Elliott admitted he raced Hamlin aggressively, same as Hamlin did when he wrecked Elliott from the lead at Martinsville.

Hamlin could have beaten Kese­lowski into the finale on points had he not wrecked.

Defending champion Jimmie Johnson also wrecked early, ending his bid to make the championship finale.

FORMULA ONE: Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel won the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo to solidify his hold on second place in the season standings. Vettel started second but overtook pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas on the first lap.

NHRA: Brittany Force became the series' first female Top Fuel season champion since Shirley Muldowney in 1982 in the Auto Club Finals at Pomona, Calif. Force won the event, beating Shawn Langdon with a 3.668-second pass at 330.07 mph. Tommy Johnson (Funny Car), Bo Butner (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won their classes in the season finale.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Saints quarterback Drew Brees watches from the sideline with his right (throwing) hand wrapped after getting hurt against the Rams on Sunday. MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ  |  AP
    The quarterback says he’s “very concerned” about the injury to his throwing hand, and reports say he’ll see a specialist Monday.
  2. Brendan McKay, shown here in July at the Trop as the Rays' DH against the Orioles, comes through with his first major-league hit on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, against the Angels. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    After winning his June debut on the mound, the rookie gets his first hit Sunday. Also, Pagan as the savior, Meadows keeps streaking.
  3. The Angels' Andrelton Simmons beats the throw to Rays catcher Mike Zunino to score on a double by Albert Pujols during the first inning on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. ALEX GALLARDO  |  AP
    On the merits of resiliency, Yarbrough’s career-high workload, Pham’s adventurous albeit not costly trip around the bases.
  4. Monday night football and more sports on the air.
  5. Rays shortstop Willy Adames battles a ground ball up the middle but can't come up with the single hit by the Angels' Kevan Smith during the third inning on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. ALEX GALLARDO  |  AP
    Angels 6, Rays 4: A rough outing by Ryan Yarbrough puts Tampa Bay down early, and a late rally wasn’t enough.
  6. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy signs the jersey of Piper Mattacchione, 7, during the Lightning Fan Fest which featured photo ops and autograph sessions on Sunday. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    The team hosted a kids press conference and fans interacted with players at the annual Fan Fest.
  7. Bucs linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) sacked San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) during the second quarter of the season opener at Raymond James Stadium. Barrett has all four of the team's sacks this season. MONICA HERNDON  |  Times
    With Jason Pierre-Paul injured, the Bucs needed a stalwart at outside linebacker. Barrett has provided that with four sacks in the team’s first two games.
  8. FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2014, file photo, Tim Tebow answers a question during a interview on the set of ESPN's new SEC Network in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File) NY161
    The former Florida Gators quarterback was passionate in his reasoning for why student-athletes shouldn’t make money. It didn’t sit well with many in the media, including other ESPN employees.
  9. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask (11) flips the ball in the air after running in for a touchdown during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Florida won 29-21. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) TIMOTHY D. EASLEY  |  AP
    “In today’s college football world, people jump the gun,” coach Dan Mullen said. Trask never did.
  10. The Rays wrap up their series with the Angels today at picturesque Angel Stadium in Anaheim. MARC TOPKIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Tommy Pham is hitting leadoff as the Rays go with six righty hitters vs. Angels lefty Sandoval.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement