Matt Kenseth expected to be more competitive on NASCAR Cup return – NASCAR

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Matt Kenseth believes he should have been more competitive on his return to the NASCAR Cup series with Roush Fenway Racing at Kansas.

Kenseth took over driving duties from Trevor Bayne for the first time as part of his planned 2018 schedule last weekend, having stepped away from NASCAR at the end of ’17 after losing his Joe Gibbs Racing seat.

His return to Cup competition was made more difficult by a failed inspection that prevented him from making the grid in time for qualifying.

Starting from the back of the field, Kenseth fell a lap down early on before he received the free pass under caution to get back on the lead lap.

His race then ended when he was eliminated in a multi-car wreck with 15 of the 267 laps remaining and was credited with a 36th-place finish.

“I expected us to be a little more competitive than that, so it was a really tough weekend all around,” he said.

“We obviously have some work to do. The good news is it’s got to get better.

NASCAR Cup Kansas highlights

“I don’t have any idea what happened with the wreck. I just saw everybody wrecking and the track was kind of blocked, so I tried to get down towards the grass.

“This grass is not the new friendly grass with the rain and all it just kind of dug in and then I just hit the car in front of me.”

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Clint Bowyer had said ahead of the weekend that the NASCAR Cup drivers were not looking forward to Kenseth’s return.

“Old Kenseth is coming back,” he said. “Everybody is excited about Matt Kenseth, but let me tell you the competitors aren’t.

“Kenseth is a threat to win any time he is on the track.”

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