Atlanta II: Matt Kenseth preview

FAST FACTS * Matt Kenseth's fifth-place finish at Martinsville was only his second top-five at the .526-mile speedway, and his first since 2002. * By finishing fifth at Martinsville, Kenseth snapped the worst four-race stretch of his 288-race...

FAST FACTS

* Matt Kenseth's fifth-place finish at Martinsville was only his second top-five at the .526-mile speedway, and his first since 2002.

* By finishing fifth at Martinsville, Kenseth snapped the worst four-race stretch of his 288-race Cup career. Starting at Dover and carrying through Charlotte, Kenseth failed to finish on the lead lap and finished 26th of worse in each race.

* For the second time this season Kenseth's No. 17 Ford will carry the DEWALT NANO Technology paint scheme. The predominantly black car will run twice more, at Phoenix and Homestead.

* Kenseth's average finish during the Chase at Atlanta is 16.6; ranking sixth among all Chase tracks.

* Kenseth has three top-five finishes in the last four Atlanta Cup races.

* What a difference a year makes -- Last season, Kenseth entered Atlanta 36 points ahead of the field in first place in the Championship Standings. This season, Kenseth currently sits 12th, 462 points out of first.

Kenseth on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is just a lot of fun mainly because the pavement has kind of worn out and it's real high banked. You start off real fast and the track gets real slick, but you're always looking for a different groove and looking for more grip. It gets slick so you've got to have some throttle control and you've got to change your points a lot where you're letting off the gas and how you're entering the corner and things like that. Any track that drives like that makes it, I think, more challenging and more fun as a driver.

"At some tracks, you're out there for three-and-a-half or four hours sometimes and you're all running around the same line all the time and hope to get up under somebody and get them out of line and pass them and that's not always that much fun. But at Atlanta, as much as you're racing your competitors, you're also racing the race track all the time for speed and trying to find grip. You're always looking for something. All the tracks like that - Michigan and like Rockingham used to be - are always a lot of fun and they're a challenge."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Martinsville was definitely the kind of finish we needed. If you would've told me going into the Chase that six races into it, our best finish would be at Martinsville, I would've laughed at you. But, our guys did a good job; Matt did a great job all day and we were able to hang on for a real good finish.

"We're bringing our most consistent piece to Atlanta this weekend. We've used this car more than any other the past two years and it's done real well. The last time out it was wrecked at Kansas, but not too bad. It was probably a top-five to top-10 car before the wreck.

"We've still got four more chances to get a win this season and that's what we'll be trying to do. Nothing's changed as far as our weekly routine. We're still trying to get the best finish we can each week at the track, but the fact that we're out of the championship hunt and we really don't have anything to lose, that does allow you to gamble a little bit with pit strategy and fuel mileage and some things, that maybe you wouldn't have done before."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth