Nascar

Matt Kenseth overcomes speeding penalties, finishes third

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - Fold of Honor QuikTrip 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA USA Friday 3 March 2017 Matt Kenseth, DEWALT Flexvolt Toyota Camry World Copyright: Barry Cantrell/LAT Images ref: Digital Image 17ATLbc1784

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - Fold of Honor QuikTrip 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA USA Friday 3 March 2017 Matt Kenseth, DEWALT Flexvolt Toyota Camry World Copyright: Barry Cantrell/LAT Images ref: Digital Image 17ATLbc1784

After a caution with 16 laps to go, Matt Kenseth restarted on the outside of the front row after gaining three spots in the pits.

The move put him in a position to bring home a third-place finish which was surprising when you look at where he was running most of the race.

The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was battling to get back on the lead lap with 70 laps to go and got the free pass on Lap 262 when a caution came out.

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The reason Kenseth was a lap down? He suffered two pit-road speeding penalties in the opening stage of the race.

"We had a good race car, the DeWalt Camry was really decent all day but whatever happened to our calculations on pit road and we got a couple penalties and that put us a lap down," Kenseth said in his post-race interview. "It took us about three hours to get our lap back."

That's not much of an exaggeration from Kenseth who was in 29th-place one lap down on Lap 55.

It took over 200 laps before he received the free pass and once he did, it was time to start picking cars off.

Kenseth moved from 14th to sixth in 32 laps and put himself in position when the late race caution came out because Austin Dillon had battery issues.

The No. 20 pit crew helped Kenseth gain three spots on the final stop and moved the No. 20 JGR Toyota to second-place after Kevin Harvick was penalized for speeding on pit road.

The outside line struggled on restarts and Kenseth ran out of time before he could contend with Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson for the win.

"Once we finally got it back and got up front, we made a couple adjustments and were pretty decent," Kenseth said. "It was hard to get going in that top lane and I didn't have enough laps to get up there and race with them."