Matt Kenseth was assessed a penalty at the conclusion of Monday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway after JJ Yeley pushed him on the final lap of the race. Kenseth was dropped to 21st after the penalty.
NASCAR rules state a car cannot be pushed by another car on the final lap of an event. Kenseth was running second in the closing laps but ran out of fuel after the white flag waved.
"On the final lap of the race, the 17 car was clearly pushed by the 38 car (Yeley) in Turns 3 and 4 heading to the finish," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "He was therefore penalized and put in 21st position – the first car one lap down."
Kenseth didn't address the penalty after the race, but did express some frustration about fuel-mileage racing in general.
"It is really frustrating to be a race car driver and they drop the green on the last run of the day when you are supposed to put on a show for the fans, and you have to run half-throttle and can't floor it or you will run out of gas," Kenseth said. "It is pretty aggravating to do all the work and qualifying and pit stops and adjustments – but none of it makes a difference."
Kenseth said he saved fuel but "we still ran out with a half a lap to go."
"There were so many races this year that have been like that already where the guy running half-throttle or pitted off-sequence or whatever has won," he said. "I wish they could figure out how to fix it, because it is not a lot of fun."
Kenseth is 10th in the standings – 24 points behind leader Kevin Harvick – despite leading the second-most laps.