NASCAR: Top drivers of 2014 – No. 7 Matt Kenseth

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Matt Kenseth

Season finish: 6th
2014 Season Stats: 0 wins, 13 top-5, 22 top-10, 2 Poles.

What went right: Unlike Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, Kenseth’s season was entirely consistent. He was the first driver to clinch a Chase spot on points. And he fought hard and long enough in the Chase to at least end close to where he hovered in the regular season points standings most of the year, in sixth.

What went wrong: As has been the case for so many runners-up in the following year, the season saw a performance dropoff, and in Kenseth’s case that witnessed a reduction from seven wins to zero wins. There was also, of course, that infamous blowup at Brad Keselowski post-race at Charlotte… some may view that as a case of “what went right,” but you know something had to go wrong to Kenseth to trigger such an unexpected outburst.

2015 Prospectus: Together with crew chief Jason Ratcliff, the No. 20 team should be focused on a return to Victory Lane. They’re the only JGR team retaining the same driver/crew chief lineup into 2015. Kenseth will have ex-Roush Fenway driver Carl Edwards as a teammate once more, which could rekindle their successful relationship together there.

Indy Lights: Askew clinches 2019 title while VeeKay wins Laguna Seca race 1

Indy Lights
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MONTEREY, Calif – Rinus VeeKay may have won the first race of the weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday afternoon, but all all eyes post-race were all on the driver who finished the race in the fourth position.

That driver was Oliver Askew, who by simply starting the 30-lap event at the famed road course won the 2019 series title, along with the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series scholarship that guarantees a minimum of three races next season.

“It’s all sinking in,” Askew told NBC Sports following the race. “I’m really happy to be part of this team. They’re back to back champions now in Indy Lights, and I feel very fortunate to be driving in this car this year.

“This is what we worked for all year. I’m very happy to be in this position and I can’t wait to celebrate with my team.”

With the championship in Askew’s possession from the get-go, the best VeeKay could do for in race 1 was to win in dominant fashion. He went on to do just so.

After starting the race from the pole position, VeeKay led every lap from start to finish en route to his fifth victory of the season.

“We managed the car well and kept the car consistent throughout the whole race,” VeeKay said. “I got a great car from the team so I want to give a big shout out to them for giving me a winning car.”

Behind VeeKay, Portland race 2 winner Toby Sowery finished the race in the second position, while Robert Megennis finished third.

Live streaming coverage of race two of the Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins tomorrow afternoon at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results

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