Originally created 06/05/06

Kenseth squeaks past McMurray for victory



DOVER, Del. - Matt Kenseth won a furious side-by-side duel with Jamie McMurray in the final seven laps of the Neighborhood Excellence 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday.

The winning pass with four laps to go came with Kenseth moving his DeWalt Ford off the bottom groove and in front of McMurray with less than 3 inches to spare. From there, he sped away to a three car-length victory.

Jack Roush, who owns both cars, was standing in McMurray's pits until Kenseth made the pass with four laps to go. Then he quickly made his way to Kenseth's pit to celebrate the victory.

"We do operate five separate teams on the racetrack," Roush said. "We are contractually bound and morally committed to doing the best we can with each of our teams. I would have been disappointed in Matt if he got past (Kevin Harvick) and didn't get past (McMurray) because he had the fastest car.

"One of these days, coming off Turn 4 on the last lap we'll get a couple of these wadded up in a ball. It's bound to happen. Then I'll be very disappointed."

Kenseth decided to skip a pit stop with 52 laps remaining for fresh tires although his crew chief, Robbie Reiser, ordered him to stop. Just as Kenseth came to pit road, he turned back onto the speedway to gain track position. He restarted fifth, and it took nearly every lap to the finish to get up front.

"Robbie was a little mad at me at the time; that was a call from the driver," Kenseth said after pocketing $323,591. "I felt like I was faster than the four cars ahead of me. I felt like giving it a shot. At the time, it probably wasn't the right thing. But it turned out right."

Reiser said the victory helped him laugh about Kenseth ignoring his orders.

"It's a good thing he won," Reiser said. "If not, we'd probably be in the truck fighting. Actually, I wouldn't have been that mad. We all make mistakes and we live with them."