This is a team that led just 190 laps a year ago when Joey Logano drove the car and Ratcliff won his first race as a Sprint Cup crew chief. This is a team that took Kenseth to New Hampshire, where he’d led 89 laps in 26 previous races and hadn’t finished in the top-five since 2005, and got him to Victory Lane for the first time in his career.
The New Hampshire victory marked back-to-back wins to open the Chase and put Johnson on alert. After Johnson moved into the points lead heading into Martinsville, the No. 20 team went into another one of Kenseth’s weaker tracks and delivered a second-place finish that tied the championship race.
Sometimes, people just have bad days. Sunday was one of them for Kenseth and crew. It was the wrong day against the wrong opponent, and behind his sunglasses, Kenseth had to be wondering if he’ll ever have an opportunity like this again.
But deep down, he knew this season itself was one to be treasured.
“Disappointing day here, but yet what a great season,” he said. “I really appreciate this whole group. There’s not a car out here I’d rather be driving than this one. I’m a pretty lucky guy.”