Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, held his weekly Q&A session prior to practice for Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race and talked about a variety of topics. WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH FOR THIS WEEK? "I don't really approach...
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, held his weekly Q&A session prior to practice for Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race and talked about a variety of topics.
WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH FOR THIS WEEK? "I don't really approach it much different than any other race. You go there and just race hard and try to win. You try to win every race you're in, but the only thing we'd probably do a little bit different is maybe try some setup stuff with the car that maybe we haven't tried before and maybe gamble a little bit on that because if you miss it, it's not like missing it for 600 miles. So we might be a little bit more aggressive with some of that stuff, but, other than that, we just try to run it like any other race and try to be up front at the end."
HOW IS THE ROUSH FENWAY INTERMEDIATE TRACK PROGRAM? "Our intermediate program is probably the strongest part of Roush Fenway Racing right now, I think. It certainly has room for improvement and we could make it better, but where I think we've really struggled is like Richmond and Phoenix and Bristol and Martinsville and the shorter tracks, so I don't think our intermediate stuff is as far off as what our other stuff is. I think some of our cars will be pretty competitive here, but we have been working on it. We've been trying to work on all aspects of the program."
DO YOU HAVE ANY SYMPATHY FOR DALE JR. AND THIS DROUGHT HE'S GOING THROUGH? "I don't know how to answer that. I don't have sympathy for Dale Jr. for who he is and how popular he is and how successful he's been. He's won a couple Nationwide championships and he's won I don't know how many race, 20 races or something. He's won a lot of Cup races and he's had a lot of success. I don't think there's anything to feel bad about. Certainly as a friend and as a competitor and stuff I feel good when he does do good and when he wins and runs good, I'm always happy for him, but, to be honest, for us it's about us trying to win and we focus all of our energy and effort and time in trying to make the 17 competitive and try to win and don't really worry about the competition that much. Certainly when a friend wins and you don't win you feel good for them, but I don't really spend a lot of time really thinking about his program to be honest with you."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON POCONO? THAT TRACK SEEMS TO BE MALIGNED A LOT. "I don't know who ridicules it. I don't know that I have in public, so I don't know. If you pick out all the facilities that we go to, it's not one of the nicer places we go and it's a long race and it's got a straightaway that's really long. It's unique. I enjoy racing at the track and going there and competing, but it's just kind of an older facility and kind of a big, long race. I think if it was a little shorter it would be a little more exciting, but it's all right."
DO YOU LIKE THE ACTUAL RACE AT POCONO? "It's a little bit like anywhere, if you run good there, you probably really enjoy it and I've never really run that great there, so I haven't probably enjoyed it as much as some other guys have that have run good there and won races and been really competitive, so it's not up on the top of my list as one of my favorite places, but there are certainly places that I probably look forward to less than Pocono."
DO YOU THINK THE NASCAR DRUG POLICY NEEDS A BANNED SUBSTANCES LIST? "I don't know. I'm not uncomfortable not having a list. I'm not uncomfortable with that in the least. When we had the meeting in the beginning of the year Dr. Black gave every single driver and owner and everybody there his personal cell phone number and said if you have any questions about any medication, about any vitamin or supplement you can call me and we'll talk about it and make sure that's OK -- or have your doctor call. If I got to the point where I had the flu earlier in the year and there was some medicine I had to take and I had any question about it, I would probably call and ask him. So I'm not worried about a list. After we were in the meeting I was under the impression that he was gonna work with us as much as we could if there was any chance at all of it being legit, so I felt pretty comfortable with that when we got done with him."
HAVE YOU CALLED HIM A LOT? "I've never called him. Unless my multivitamins are on the list, I'm good."
DOES THIS RACE HELP FOR THE 600 SINCE THERE'S NO TESTING? "I kind of always look at the All-Star Race as a test. It's kind of a fun weekend, but it's sort of test too. Now these days it's not quite what it used to be because there are so many rules and regulations on these cars, but it used to be that you'd build kind of maybe a more wild car like Jeff Gordon did that one time -- that car that got outlawed -- or you try something different on the body or whatever, but these cars are pretty well set. There's not a lot you can do to them, but certainly the few little things we can change or try different that we think might be better or different than we would normally try, we'd try that this weekend and hopefully it would work and you could go on and run it again in the 600. So, in a way, it's kind of a fun, relaxing race. The pit crew had their competition last night to have fun qualifying tonight and do a live pit stop and stuff, which is really unique and fun to do in the middle of qualifying, so it's a fun night tomorrow night."
WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO MAKE THIS ALL-STAR RACE MORE EXCITING OR DEVELOP SOME CONTINUITY? "I don't really know what you could do to make it more exciting. The way they try to set it up, the double-file restarts and the short run at the end and the break and the one live pit stop -- all that stuff -- qualifying with a pit stop -- I think they do everything they can to try to make it a show and make it as exciting as they possibly can. I really have never honestly sat and thought about, 'Boy, how can we make it more thrilling,' because that's not really my job. I try to look at the rules they come up with and say, 'OK, how can we figure out how to try to take advantage of that and try to win the race?' I haven't really thought about that. I think they do a good job every year of trying to make it as entertaining as they possibly can."
-credit: ford racing