Diecast Crazy Forums banner

Miscommunication with team leaves Matt Kenseth with disappointing finish

394 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  taterracing

By Dustin Long

Matt Kenseth scored his second disappointing finish in a row after a miscommunication cost him two laps and led to a 19th-place finish Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The miscue came a week after Kenseth lost the Daytona 500 on the final lap after an attempted block backfired and he finished 14th.

Kenseth led 47 of the first 115 laps Sunday before pitting under green when trouble struck. NASCAR penalized him for improper fueling. Kenseth’s crew chief, Jason Ratcliff, argued the call. As that happened, NASCAR give Kenseth the black flag, but Kenseth did not respond to it.

NASCAR stopped scoring Kenseth for a lap until he came into the pits for his pass-through penalty. He also lost a lap while going down pit road and was two laps down once he was back up to speed.

The incident led to much discussion on Kenneth’s radio with interim spotter Curtis Markham and crew chief Jason Ratcliff. Markham was in his first race with Kenseth this season after taking over, as planned, from Lorin Ranier, who was Kenseth’s spotter in the Daytona 500. Markham is Denny Hamlin’s former spotter.

Kenseth: “I get the black flag, how the hell am I supposed to know? I don’t really watch the flagman. … See if you can get our lap back. I had no idea we were being black flagged. I didn’t know we had any kind of problem. Nobody told me.’’

Markham: “They were arguing about it for you.”

Kenseth: “I understand that Curtis, but if we’re getting black flagged you know the rules. You only get whatever it is, three times or whatever it is, and they give you the black-and-white flag. You can keep running all you want, but they’re not going got score you. I need to know that. So, as soon as they give us that flag, I can see it, whether they’re arguing or not. We’d still be on the lead lap.’’

Markham: “10-4.”

Kenseth: “We screwed the race away here unless we get everything to fall in our lap.’’
Markham: “10-4.’’

Ratcliff: “So the official comes over here and tells me we have a penalty, and I questioned the penalty. I said, ‘You need to check it, that’s not night.’ He said, ‘Hang on and let me check.’ The next thing I knew they’re giving us the black flag, so I really didn’t even have an opportunity to talk about it with him.’’

Later in the race during a caution, Kenseth and his team again continued to discuss the matter.

Ratcliff: “They penalized us because (the fueler) had a wedge wrench in his hand and he laid it on the deck lid. We’ve always done that. We’ve been doing that forever. For some reason today that is a penalty.’’

(NASCAR’s rule on what the fuel handler can do is listed on a pit card given to every team. The rule states: “The fuel handler must be in control of the fuel can at all times when fuel is being added and will not be permitted to perform any adjustments or other pit stop procedures while the fuel can coupler is engaged with the vehicle mounted adapter).

Kenseth: “I understand. From my seat, that part is irrelevant. I just need to know that we’re being black flagged from you or Curtis. Somebody just needs to communicate that to me so I can watch it, so I didn’t put us in a spot.

“The first penalty wasn’t the end of the world. We raced on the lead lap for the last two hours. We would have stayed on the lead lap. Two laps down to these many guys now is kind of a killer. Regardless of whether it was right or wrong, once they start waving that flag we’ve only got a certain amount of time to obey or we’re screwed. We must have went a lap or two too far. I still have never seen the flag. I never saw it.”

Ratcliff: “I never saw it either. (The NASCAR official) told me and as soon as I got back up on the box, you pitted on that lap. Then I was asking why we were two laps down and that’s when he came over and told me.’’

Kenseth: “Curtis, if we ever get in that spot again, you see them black flagging me and you hear them in the scanner saying to black flag the 20, post the 20, you’ve gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta tell me, You’ve got to tell me even if they’re arguing it, so we can start talking about it and make sure we get there before we get penalized.’’

Curtis: “10-4. I was talking to them on the other radio. They kept saying they were arguing, so I was holding off.’’

Kenseth: “I know. You’ve just got to be like, ‘Hey Matt, just so you know we’ve got a pit road penalty, we’re still arguing it, don’t pit yet but we’re getting a black flag and I want to you watch the black flag.’ I would have pitted before we got the cross. I got to have the information. I can’t help you without any.’’

Markham: “Understood.’’

Miscommunication with team leaves Matt Kenseth with disappointing finish
See less See more
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

Atlanta Penalty the Latest of Kenseth’s Disappointments

By Kelly Crandall

HAMPTON, Ga. – Matt Kenseth was again left with a fast racecar but nothing to show for it after a 19th place finish in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“It’s kind of the way it’s been going last few months; we’ve had a lot of disappointments. We’ll just keep digging,” Kenseth said. “The encouraging part is the car was really fast, best car I probably ever had at Atlanta and we were in the mix to go for a win early in the race.
“You never know what’s going to happen in the second half because there’s a lot of racing to do, but we were definitely in the mix.”
After starting 13th, Kenseth took the lead for the first time on Lap 40. He would go on to led 47 laps on the day, but was out of contention for the race win by the event’s halfway point.
The No. 20 Dollar General Toyota was penalized on their third trip down pit road on Lap 116 for improper fueling. According to the NASCAR rulebook, the fueler is not permitted to perform any other adjustments while the fuel can is engaged with the car.
NASCAR penalized Kenseth because his fueler placed a wedge wrench on the rear decklid during the stop. But as Kenseth cycled back to the race lead, he was never told of the penalty by crew chief Jason Ratcliff or interim spotter Curtis Markham. NASCAR displayed the black flag to the 20 car and eventually stopped scoring him as Ratcliff argued the call.
By the time Kenseth served his penalty, he had lost a lap by NASCAR and to the leaders. He never made them back up.
“I was riding around and I had no idea we had any problems on pit road or that there was a penalty,” Kenseth said. “I guess they were black flagging us, and I didn’t know it; the spotter never said anything and Jason (Ratcliff) didn’t tell me. So I didn’t know anything about it.
“They said do a pass-thru and I did a pass-thru and told me I was two laps down, so I don’t really know what happened down here, to be honest with you.”
It was the second consecutive week Kenseth had one of the strongest cars in the field. During last Sunday’s 58th annual Daytona 500, Kenseth led 40 laps and was leading entering Turns 3 and 4 when his teammate, Denny Hamlin, got the best of him. Kenseth ended up 14th. There was also, as Kenseth mentioned, the disappointments during the 2015 Chase.
Owner Joe Gibbs admitted the team should have done a better job of communicating the penalty to Kenseth, since he was focused on racing for the lead at the time. But Gibbs was also curious to find out the exact letter of the law because his Joe Gibbs Racing teams had never had the issue before.
“I think we’ve been doing that for a long time, and I was just curious when that change came,” Gibbs said, later revealing an official told him the rule changed prior to this year. “So if we missed something on the change, that’s what I was trying to find out.
“When did that come out and when they did change it because our guys have been laying it there for a long time.”

Atlanta Penalty the Latest of Kenseth’s Disappointments – POPULAR SPEED
See less See more

Kenseth knocked out of contention while oblivious to NASCAR penalty

Matt Kenseth appeared to have a car capable of contending for the win Sunday but was oblivious to a controversy over a NASCAR penalty on a pit stop and ended up getting black-flagged.

During a mid-race green-flag pit stop, the fueler for Kenseth’s No. 20 Toyota placed a tool on the rear of Kenseth’s machine while he still had the fuel can engaged with the car.
The NASCAR rulebook forbids fuelers from engaging in any other activity while they have a fuel can engaged to the car.
After Kenseth completed his stop and returned to the track, NASCAR called an improper fueling penalty on the team, black-flagged Kenseth, and ordered him to serve a pass-thru penalty.

Arguing the penalty

Kenseth’s crew chief, Jason Ratcliff, immediately began arguing the call with a NASCAR official in the pit box, but while that was going on, no one communicated the penalty to Kenseth over the radio and he continued to remain on the track.
NASCAR did not relent on the call and by the time his team finally communicated to him to head to pit road, Kenseth had been penalized one lap for failing to serve the penalty within three laps. He lost another lap while making the pass-thru penalty.
This led to much discussion over the No. 20 radio between Kenseth, Ratcliff and spotter Curtis Markham.

Kenseth left two laps down

“I got black-flagged for some type of pit road penalty and I didn’t know it and pitted the lap they told me to do a pass through – I’m assuming they were black flagging us before that and they pulled our card,” Kenseth said after the race.
“I never heard anything about it or at least saw the flag or anything, so I came when they told me to come and I guess they must have penalized us a couple laps or something. I don’t really know. I haven’t really seen it.”
Kenseth seemed upset at the time of the incident as to why no one on his team let him know he needed to serve the penalty, whether the team was arguing the call or not.
“I got to have that information,” Kenseth said at the time over his radio. “I can't help you if I don't.”
Kenseth, who led 47 laps in the race, ended up finishing 19th.
Kenseth’s team owner, Joe Gibbs, also argued with the NASCAR official in the pit at the time of the incident.
After the race, Gibbs said he was seeking clarification as to the nature of the violation.
“I think we’d been doing that for a long time and I was just curious as to when that changed,” Gibbs said. “That’s what I was trying to find out – when did a (bulletin) come out, when did the change it – because our guys had been doing it for a long time.”
Gibbs said it was understandable Kenseth didn’t know what was taking place because the race remained under green-flag conditions and he continued to battle up front.
“We should have done a better job of communicating to him that there was a black flag,” he said.
Ratcliff was not available for comment after the race.

Kenseth knocked out of contention while oblivious to NASCAR penalty
See less See more
Even if NASCAR was wrong, they'll never admit it. Your name has to be Dale Earnhardt and it must be 21 years ago for them to do that.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.