Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, sits ninth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup going into Saturday night's race. He spoke about a variety of issues during his Q&A session Thursday at Lowe's Motor ...
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, sits ninth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup going into Saturday night's race. He spoke about a variety of issues during his Q&A session Thursday at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion
YOUR THOUGHTS GOING INTO THIS RACE? "I look forward to it. I think we all look forward to racing here at Charlotte for a lot of different reasons, but it's a great track. I look forward to being here and close to home where all the teams are from and, hopefully, getting back on track."
CARL ADMITTEDLY CAUSED LAST WEEK'S WRECK. DID THAT DO ANYTHING TO HELP WHAT LAST YEAR WAS ALREADY APPEARING TO BE A PRETTY STRAINED RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU AND GREG AND CARL? "The first question I guess, our relationship is fine. We pretty much got over that deal from Martinsville last year and it's all been alright. Yeah, I was disappointed there was a wreck, but you knew there would be wrecks and some of that stuff is gonna happen. I was disappointed it happened because we were almost out of contention and I thought we were gonna have a good day and gain some points and maybe be a contender again if we could get it back around 100 points or something like that, and then we got wiped out. I was disappointed. I thought that Carl knew better. He's been preaching the stuff about being careful and working together and teammates and all this stuff, so I was disappointed it happened, but yet it was an accident and that stuff will happen."
HOW SPECIAL WOULD IT BE TO WIN AT CHARLOTTE AGAIN? IS IT A BIGGER RACE THAN NORMAL? "There are some races that seem like they're bigger than others. I think they're all big races. These races are really hard to win. Obviously, it's special to come here. The all-star race is a huge race and then you've got the 600 and then the 500-miler in the fall, so they're all big races. For us, we haven't won this year yet, so for us to get a win anywhere right now is real important and would be big for us."
HOW DO YOU ASSESS THE CHASE NOW? "Anything can happen. Greg and Carl are running awful good, obviously. Especially after last weekend, Jimmie is probably in the best position. He had some trouble last week and got a lap down and still came back and got a top-10 and missed the wreck and did all that. They're always difficult to beat, in my opinion. I've said this many times before, but since they put that team together and him and Chad got together, in my opinion, they've been the team to beat on average every week and every year. So I would have to say in my book the 48 is probably pretty heavily the favorite right now, but yet that's not a lot of points and you know one flat tire or one broken part can change the way the whole thing looks. I hope Greg and Carl can get back in it and hopefully have a tight race down at the end."
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF FORMER CHAMPS LIKE YOU AND JEFF DON'T WIN A RACE THIS YEAR? "It's a big deal to win and it's really hard to win. If we don't win a race this year I'll be really disappointed in that, but I can't do anything special to try to get a win in the next six weeks. I race as hard as I can race every single race. We do everything we know how to do to try to win races and bring our best stuff and race as hard as we can and you can't do anymore than that. The second you try to do more than that is when you end up wrecked or have problems or make mistakes, so we're doing everything we can do. If it all lines up and something happens and we can win a race or two here before then that would be great, but, like I said, I don't feel like we can try any harder than we're trying. We think we've been improving here lately, so hopefully we can have our stuff running good enough to be able to get one."
IN LIGHT OF WHAT HAPPENED SUNDAY, SHOULD THEY ENFORCE THE NO BUMP-DRAFTING IN THE CORNER RULE MORE STRICTLY? "I don't know. Man, there are a lot of rules and that's always kind of a judgment call and in the past you've heard people get warned when it looks kind of crazy and I didn't really hear a lot of that Sunday. Talladega is pretty forgiving. It's got a lot of grip. It's really wide. These cars are really, really stable, so we should all know better that you can't run into somebody in the middle of the corner, especially in the left rear. I mean, if you're squared up on their bumper and you're kind of right behind them and you're pushing them, you can get away with that a little bit, especially on restarts or if you're not going as fast, but when you're making a run to the front and you're running real fast and you're closing on somebody, you kind of know you can't really run into him in the center of the corner. It's hard to ask NASCAR to enforce everything and to make sure we don't have any wrecks and don't cause any wrecks because, I mean, that's part of racing. Everybody is pushing it to the limit as far as you can, but, hopefully, you know where that limit is before it's a disaster."
-credit: ford racing