Matt Kenseth starting well back of Jimmie Johnson

Matt Kenseth. (AFP)

Matt Kenseth. (AFP)

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:31 PM ET

Matt Kenseth will start 14th on Sunday in the AdvoCare 500K at Phoenix International Raceway after a disappointing qualifying lap of 137.704 m.p.h. in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

If you are counting - and Kenseth certainly is - that is 13 spots and 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase points behind Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Hendrick Chevrolet.

The two are locked in a fight to the finish for the 2013 Sprint Cup championship and every point counts with just two races left.

For Kenseth, the qualifying result had to be a bitter disappointment, although for public consumption he was somewhat optimistic he will be able to overcome the deficit.

"Hopefully, we'll be able to work our way to the front and get it driving good in race trim where it really counts," he said.

Kenseth was trying as hard as he could to put a good face on a bad situation, but he has come back from worse starting positions this season.


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