Chicagoland: Kenseth - Thursday media visit

Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 USG Ford Fusion, is in a season-best ninth place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings following a third-place finish at Daytona last Saturday night. It marked his seventh top-five in the last eight races. Kenseth...

Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 USG Ford Fusion, is in a season-best ninth place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings following a third-place finish at Daytona last Saturday night. It marked his seventh top-five in the last eight races. Kenseth has two second-place finishes at Chicagoland Speedway, site of this weekend's race.

THIS WILL BE THE FIRST RACE AT CHICAGOLAND UNDER THE LIGHTS. DO YOU EXPECT MAJOR CHANGES IN THE RACING? "No, I really don't expect major changes. It's hard to tell, being under the lights, because we never even ran a lap here under the lights before, so it will be a little bit different, but it usually doesn't change the track that much. It will give you a little bit more grip and probably make the cars handle a little bit better. I like racing Saturday nights. I like the track. It's the closest geographically to where I grew up, so I always see a lot of family and friends and race fans that I used to see, so that part's always extra fun."

YOU'RE AT THE HIGHEST POINT IN THE STANDINGS THAT YOU'VE BEEN ALL YEAR. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS TEAM RIGHT NOW? "I feel good about what we've been able to do the last couple of months, in general. We've had a couple of races where we've been off, where we haven't maybe done everything exactly right. In general, I feel about where we're at. You're not comfortable where you are in the standings, obviously, until you go to Richmond and you're 152 points, or whatever it is, ahead of 13th place, then you're comfortable. So, you're never really comfortable until you work your way up there a little farther. I'm comfortable with how we're running, we're a ,lot more competitive, and we're operating more like a championship team here the last month or two. So, that gives me some confidence."

HAS THIS RECENT PROGRESSION IN THE STANDINGS BEEN A MATTER OF CIRCUMSTANCES OR AS A RESULT OF THINGS THAT WERE TARGETED AND IMPROVED UPON? "A little bit of both. Some of it is probably circumstances, but a lot of it was just trying to get better and do things at a higher level, and just do a better job at the things we weren't doing the best we could at. So, I think everybody took that area and I think everybody stepped up a little bit and just did their job better the last couple of months."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth