Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DEWALT Taurus and defending series champion, will be bidding for his third straight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in tomorrow's Golden Corral 500. Kenseth, who qualified 30th on Friday, is looking to become the...
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DEWALT Taurus and defending series champion, will be bidding for his third straight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in tomorrow's Golden Corral 500. Kenseth, who qualified 30th on Friday, is looking to become the first driver since Jeff Gordon in 1998 to win three in a row and the first Ford driver to do it since Rusty Wallace in June of 1994.
MATT KENSETH , No. 17 DEWALT Tools Taurus
WHAT DOES YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS SO FAR THIS SEASON SAY TO YOUR CRITICS FROM LAST YEAR?
"We really haven't changed anything. My driving style isn't any different right now than it was six weeks ago or last year. We just have better stuff to work with and Robbie and everybody has done a good job the first couple of races of giving me cars that we can go out and lead laps with and win races with. When you have the equipment, you can go out and do that if you have your car set up all right, but last year we just struggled a little bit at the end of the year."
HOW VINDICATED DO YOU FEEL?
"It's a long season yet. Our goal is to try to win the championship this season and try to lead laps and win races. We've got a great start toward that, but it's a really long season."
HOW IS RACING HERE?
"Racing here is a blast. This is one of the most fun tracks I think you can go to to race at because if you're faster than the car in front of you, there's no excuse for not passing them because there's a lot of room on the race track. If you catch somebody here, generally you can pass them because if he's running the bottom, you can run the top and vice versa. There's just a lot of room to race. Whenever you have different grooves that you can search for as a driver, it makes it a lot of fun because you can do different things to help the car go faster."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN WIN THREE IN A ROW?
"We'll just have to see. Everything has to go right to be able to do that. We've got a long time between now and the end of the race on Sunday. Everything has to go just right to be able to win these races. It's a new week, so we'll just have to go out and do the best that we can and see how it ends up."
DOES THIS TRACK PLAY TO YOUR STYLE?
"I think a lot to do with running good is how much you like the track. A lot of times when you like race tracks and like going there, it helps you run a little bit better. This is one of the places I love going to. It's always been one of my favorites ever since the first time I came here. I love going fast and I love going fast in the corners like you can do here. It's a track I really enjoy. We haven't always qualified great, but racing here is usually pretty good for us. This is right up there on my list for favorite tracks and it's at least in the top five for the tracks I like going to."
A DRIVER HASN'T WON THREE STRAIGHT CUP RACES SINCE 1998. HOW COMPETITIVE IS IT RIGHT NOW?
"It's competitive. Every year they make the rules a little closer, the templates a little tighter and all the cars closer to the same. It's competitive and it's hard to get to the days where Jeff Gordon used to win 13 races in a year. Those are tough days to find again. It's hard to get an advantage in the garage. Everybody has big multi-car teams and a lot of people sharing information, so it's hard to get an edge up on your competition."
SO DOES THAT GIVE YOU NEW RESPECT FOR WHAT YOU'RE GOING FOR THIS WEEKEND?
"We're not really going for anything special this weekend. Yeah, it's a stat and it would be cool to do, but we approach every race trying to win it and trying to go out and run the best that we can. We're not approaching this weekend any different than we would approach any other Atlanta race. We just came here preparing for Atlanta and to try to do the best we can."