Is it possible to get too good of a restart?
At Talladega, the answer is yes. Just ask Matt Kenseth, who was leading on the green-white-checkered restart but pulled out too far in front of the field. When he did so, it opened the door for the third- and fourth-place cars of Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch to steamroll by the Roush duo of Kenseth and Greg Biffle on the high side and go on to settle the race amongst themselves.
"I wasn't too fast, I was just too stupid I guess at the end to keep him (Biffle) with me," Kenseth said. "I think there was a lot of stuff that happened there at Daytona in the 150's and the 500 where I didn't worry about if the guy behind me was detached, because he had two or three guys behind him in his lane and we were still fast enough that he could push me out far enough where a tandem couldn't beat us.
"I had that same strategy today. I thought we would be OK, and I think that if they would have stayed behind him until we got to Turn 3, we still would have been OK."
But there was a problem with that strategy. When Busch and Keselowski bailed out, it made Biffle's car lose his momentum.
"(He) couldn't stay sealed up to me," Kenseth said. "I should have watched him and drug the brake a little better."
Instead of winning his second race of the season as it appeared he would, Kenseth had to settle for third.
Although the third-place finish was Kenseth's sixth top-five in 10 starts and was good enough to move him up two spots in the standings – just seven points behind Biffle – even that bit of good news wasn't enough to offer Kenseth any consolation.
"I think we had the winning car, we just didn't have the winning driver," he said.