Kenseth, Gordon among those roughed in Richmond
RICHMOND, Va. -- Matt Kenseth was running in the top five less than 80 laps into Saturday night's race when he had brake trouble and headed for the garage.
The problem to Kenseth's Roush Racing Ford caused the fourth caution of the race, and a 12-lap slowdown as crews circled the track trying to soak up the oily leakage.
Kenseth's crew, meantime, discovered that his oil tank had broken, meaning a lengthy repair job and a night spent hoping to minimize the points damage. The former series champion came into the race second in points, 21 behind Jimmie Johnson.
And Kenseth wasn't the only contender with early trouble.
Kasey Kahne, the defending race champion, had to pit under green early in the race and was five laps down, in spite of five cautions, before the race was 100 laps old.
Kahne arrived at Richmond fourth in points and started sixth.
Also in trouble was Dale Jarrett, who arrived 10th in points and qualified 26th, but was sent to the back of the field after his crew did work on his car after it was to have been impounded. NASCAR said more penalties will be forthcoming this week.
After 100 laps, Jarrett had worked his way up to 20th position.
Jeff Gordon, sixth in points to start the race, was running 13th after 227 laps when his engine died on the backstretch and he limped around the track and to the garage, where his crew worked furiously trying to figure out what went wrong.
Kurt Busch, the 2004 series champion, was running third when he pitted under a green flag after 250 laps. Then his trouble began in a series of driver errors.
First, he was penalized for pitting outside his concrete pit box, which meant he had to drive down pit road again on his next lap at the painfully slow pit road speed of 40 mph. When he tried that, he came in too fast and was told to try it again.
By the time Busch got back in the race, he'd fallen from third to 36th.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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