FORT WORTH, Texas — After nearly two years and 76 races, Matt Kenseth finally got back into Victory Lane with a dominating run at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night when the entire Roush Fenway team was outstanding.
Kenseth led 169 of 334 laps at the 1½-mile, high-banked track for his 19th career victory, his first Sprint Cup win since California in February 2009 when he won the first two races of that season.
Top 12 in Points:
1. C. Edwards, 256
2. Kyle Busch, 247
3. M. Kenseth, 243
4. J. Johnson, 243
5. Kurt Busch, 240
6. D. Earnhardt Jr., 235
7. R. Newman, 233
8. J. Montoya, 232
9. K. Harvick, 228
10. T. Stewart, 213
11. P. Menard, 209
12. C. Bowyer, 201
This time, the No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford was only trailing late behind Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch when both of those drivers were out of sequence on stops and trying to stretch fuel in hopes of catching a caution. Lucky for Kenseth, there were no yellow flags at the wrong time.
Kenseth went back ahead to stay with 13 laps to go when Busch had to make his final stop and give up a 8.2-second lead. Kenseth finished 8.315 seconds ahead of Clint Bowyer on warm and windy night for the first Texas race under the lights.
"One of the hottest times I've ever had in a car," Bowyer said. "More than anything, my feet were burning up."
Columbia native Carl Edwards, Kenseth's teammate, joked that he was "hopped up on Pepto Bismol" because of an upset stomach from something he ate earlier in the day. He also dealt with a loose car all night, but still finished third to take over the series points lead by nine over Kyle Busch.
"I was a little sick this morning. I thought I was alright. But my stomach was messed up about 50 laps in. My mom made a dish and I think one of the ingredients was bad," Edwards said. "We were trying really hard to get the car right and we never did. That's why I was happy with third."
It was a weekend sweep in the Lone Star State for car owner Jack Roush after Edwards won the Nationwide race Friday night. Roush has 16 NASCAR wins in Texas — eight in Cup, seven in Nationwide and one in Trucks.
All four of Roush's drivers finished in the top seven Saturday night. Greg Biffle was fourth and polesitter David Ragan seventh, the best finish of the year for both.
"I'm really proud of what we've been able to do in 2011," Roush said. "I can't say how proud I am to be here with Matt. He hasn't gotten the success that his effort deserved in the recent past."