Kenseth sure he's not to blame in Vickers accident Print
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Saturday, 05 March 2011 10:59
NASCAR Headline News

 LAS VEGAS (AP) - Matt Kenseth was confused when he learned Brian Vickers blamed him for last week's wreck at Phoenix. After watching a replay of the 14-car accident, he wasn't any clearer on what Vickers was upset about.
``I felt bad on the way home because I heard he was mad at me because somebody said he thought I caused the wreck and honestly I didn't think I did,'' Kenseth said.
Kenseth said he sent Vickers a text message to discuss the accident, and never heard back.
``I figured after I went home and watched the clip that I would get an apology,'' he said. ``But I never did. That's OK. I don't feel like I did anything wrong there.''
The two cars may have slight contact, but replays showed Vickers lost control of his Toyota and triggered the chain-reaction accident. Vickers blamed Kenseth and aggressive driving for the carnage.
``I felt like it was unnecessary and I'm sure it will come back to him,'' he said after the accident.
Kenseth wasn't worried about it at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where he'll start on the pole for Sunday's race. It's just the fifth pole of Kenseth's 12-year career. Kenseth also topped the speed chart at Saturday's only practice.
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STILL CELEBRATING: Jeff Gordon had already planned a trip to the ``The Tonight Show'' before he won last weekend's race at Phoenix. But when he did the pre-interview for the show, he was in the worst slump of his career.
``They're like, 'What's a funny story? What's been going on? We know you haven't won. Boy, it would be great if you could win before you get here,''' Gordon said.
He did Sunday in Phoenix, ending his 66-race winless streak then jetting off to California to attend post-Oscar parties with Pixar and Disney animation chief John Lasseter.
``The whole night was just spectacular to be able to go into that room with that level of celebrity and power and Hollywood and everything,'' Gordon said. ``You're just in awe of it. But then people come up to you and congratulate you. It was pretty cool. And the whole week was like that.''
It had been almost two years since he'd won a race. Gordon said the reaction in the grandstands in Phoenix may have been the best of his 83 career victories.
``It sent chills up my spine,'' he said. ``That was unbelievable. I don't quite understand it to be honest with you - maybe a little bit of a sympathy vote.''
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MORE INSPECTION: NASCAR has started inspecting cars during practice sessions as an answer to a new rule that links practice performance to qualifying.
NASCAR this year is setting the qualifying order based on the lap times set in practice. So NASCAR called several teams in during Friday's practice to be measured. In the past, the cars passed through the height sticks before qualifying.
``We set that early on because it does set the lineup, the order in which you qualify, that we would spot-check cars,'' said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. ``We did it last week and we'll continue to do that just to make sure that everything is on the up-and-up.''
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TRUCK TEAM FOLDS: A lack of sponsorship has forced Brent Raymer Racing to suspend its Trucks Series team.
Raymer ran his first full season last year, qualifying for all but two races and finishing 19th in points. Raymer failed to make the races at Daytona and Phoenix.
``It's a shame that we have to end the season so soon,'' Raymer said. ``We are not going to be completely out of racing, but we won't have as much involvement as we have in the past.''
 

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Driver Odds
Sprint Cup - Odds to Win the Camping World RV Sales 301 @ New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Jimmie Johnson #48 +500
Kevin Harvick #4 +750
Brad Keselowski #2 +750
Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 +800
Jeff Gordon #24 +850
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