Originally created 03/31/03

NASCAR notebook

FORT WORTH, Tex. - Matt Kenseth led 65 laps in Sunday's Samsung/ RadioShack 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. And while he faded to a sixth-place finish, he was pleased.

"We had a great day," he said. "When you're out front, you could fly. At the end with the way the pit deal worked out we lost a lot of track position and we didn't have the best stop at the end. We just got too far behind, but overall, it was a great day to come back and finish sixth."

One reason Kenseth can be happy with letting a possible victory slip away is the fact he added to his lead in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series point standings. He now has 1,090 points heading into Sunday's Aaron's 499 at the Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

Ryan Newman, the race winner, moved up seven spots.

UP IN SMOKE: Bill Elliott had a fast car for the first 46 laps Sunday. Too bad the main event lasted 334 laps.

Elliott led 43 of the first 46 laps, but the engine in his Dodge Intrepid erupted in white smoke on the 49th lap and eventually rolled to a stop in the garage area.

PETTY RESTS: Kyle Petty decided to skip Sunday's race while he continued to recover from a couple of cracked ribs suffered in a crash a week ago at Bristol, Tenn.

Former CART driver Christian Fittipaldi started Petty's Dodge. He crashed on the 243rd lap and finished 38th.

Petty said Saturday his ability to drive in the 500-mile event would be a race time decision. He was too sore to practice Saturday, and apparently the effects of last week's crash were too severe to allow him to start Sunday's main event.


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