Pensacola, Fla. (Dec. 8, 2013) -- Ross Kenseth and the No. 25 Enterprise Iron & Metal/Boyne Machine team had a fast race car for the 300-lap Snowball Derby on Sunday at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., but a pit road incident on lap 77 put them in hole they could never quite recover from the rest of the day. Still, the team fought valiantly to salvage an eighth-place finish in the nation's largest super late model event.
Starting 11th on the grid Kenseth wasted no time working his way to the front and on lap 60 had cracked the top-five, running lap times consistent with the leader. The car's handling was to Kenseth's liking and no changes were planned for the team's first pit stop under caution on lap 77.
But, disaster struck on pit road after a slow pit stop put Kenseth in heavy traffic and subsequently the No. 25 was struck in the right side door as he left the pit stall. The car sustained heavy cosmetic damage to the left front during the incident and even broke a bumpstop on the left front shock.
The team stopped multiple times over the next two caution periods for repairs and even changed out two shocks during that span, but remarkably never went a lap down.
Starting at the rear of the field with a damaged race car, Kenseth was still able to race his way up to the 14th position just past halfway, but a long green flag run placed him in the sight of the leader who put him a lap down with just under 90 laps remaining.
Undeterred, Kenseth and company fought hard to get their lap back and finally did so with 25 laps to go when they became the beneficiary of the lucky dog.
Down pit road for four fresh tires and additional repairs, Kenseth was ready to charge through the field and did just that over the final 15 laps--racing his way from 14th to ninth to secure the top-10 finish. After the original winner failed post-race inspection, Kenseth was awarded the eight-place finish.
"It's not the finish we wanted, but we fought hard to get the best finish we could under those circumstances," said Kenseth. "We had a great car and I think we could've contended for a win, but had the incident early that put us behind. Thanks to Enterprise Iron & Metal and Boyne Machine for coming on board as primary sponsors for the weekend."
Follow Kenseth on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rosskenseth and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Generation3.