Matt Kenseth Follows Daytona Win with Fontana Sequel
Matt Kenseth is all smiles as he accepts the Best Driver Award, Take Two at Fontana. Photo: Lisa Borodkin for LAist
Matt Kenseth continued his perfect start to the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season by winning the Auto Club 500 in Fontana, California tonight. Fresh off a coast-to-coast victory tour for the Daytona 500, Kenseth is the first driver since Jeff Gordon in 1997 to start a NASCAR Cup Series season with back-to-back victories. Kenseth battled for the lead with Jeff Gordon in the final laps of the race, passing Gordon's #24 car with a speedier pit stop on lap 216.Rain threatened to be a factor, resulting in four cautions in the initial 180 laps of the 250-lap race, but it did not shorten tonight's race as it did in Daytona. "I enjoy all kinds of weather," Kenseth had mentioned to LAist Thursday, noting that checking weather was among his few uses for the Internet. Kenseth certainly enjoyed the climate in Victory Lane. Instead of the tearful emotion he displayed upon winning the Daytona 500, Kenseth -- along with his crew and team owner Jack Roush -- joked and smiled their way through the post-race Hat Dance.
Kenseth's victory tonight marks the fifth straight win for Roush Racing in the spring race at California.