Darlington: Kenseth post-race interview

MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Finished 3rd) "It was good for us. We ran really competitively. We had good pit stops and had a much better car than I thought we were gonna have, so it feels really good to come here and run that ...

MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Finished 3rd)

"It was good for us. We ran really competitively. We had good pit stops and had a much better car than I thought we were gonna have, so it feels really good to come here and run that good. We haven't run good in a Cup car here in a long, long time. I haven't finished on the lead lap here in a long time, so it feels good to come here and run good. I've got a lot of confidence in the team. It's one thing to go to these race tracks that we run good at and run good at our good places, but to kind of come to our bad places and run good is a really good feeling. These guys are really giving me great stuff."

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO COME HERE AND RUN SO WELL? "It's kind of like I said, when you come to your bad places and run good feels really good. We had a great car at Richmond, probably one of the best cars I've had there. I know people say that all the time when they break, but we really did and it was kind of disappointing to break there, but I still felt good that we had a good car. You know you're gonna have some bad things happen during the year and some good things, so I kind of just chalked that up to one of the bad things and move on to the next race. We had a great car there and we had a great car here."

DID THE OIL PUMP FAILURES CONCERN YOU? "This is the first I heard of it. I had my hands full, so I didn't know there was an issue at all to be honest with you. If I would have known that, I probably would have been worried."

IT SEEMED UNUSUALLY RESPECTFUL OUT THERE. "I don't know. I couldn't watch the whole race, but it didn't seem real unusual to me. The track is so narrow, especially with that SAFER barrier. I mean, I had my hands full keeping myself out of trouble. It's not really a place where you can race somebody side-by-side for very long. It never has been. There was a lot of give and take with the leaders, but I think there always is. I saw a lot of cars with their right sides all flattened where they dented the wall right in front of me, so it was a normal race as far as that. I think there were people up there on top of the fence doing that little stuff and never really had the big wreck that you could."

BIFFLE IS 14TH IN POINTS. HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS WHERE HE IS NOW? "I think he's in better shape than we were a year ago because I think that he's been performing much better than we did last year. Last year at this time we were out of the points because we had some problems. We ran good at times and had problems, but we also ran bad at times. We weren't running like them. They've led almost every race and have been a contender to win almost every race, just like they started last year and finished last year and finished second in the points. I think there's a difference there. I think he's a very solid bet to make it. He'd have to have a lot of bad things happen not to make the chase and not be a championship contender right down to the wire. If you could look at a sheet and pick out five or six cars that you thought were gonna run up front each and every week and have a shot at the championship, he for sure would be on top of a lot of those lists I think."

WHAT WORKED FOR YOU TONIGHT? "We just had the car working better. We had the car balanced. We just did the stuff we've been doing all year to make our cars better and kind of brought it here and adjusted on it and it ran pretty good. We could never really run that fast lap and it never actually felt great, but when I just slowed down and hit your marks and do that it would run good. Compared to everybody else, I was probably a little more patient than maybe I've been in the past with the car and not trying to get out of it what I didn't have. Mostly we just had more balance I think and more grip than what we've had in the past and a lot of it too is we started using a lot of Greg's stuff. We started here with how Greg won the race here last year, so it's nice when teammates win races and you can look at their stuff and try to learn off that."

COULD YOU TELL WHERE GREG WAS BETTER THAN YOU? "That's a tough question to answer. The car changes a lot through a long run. That one run where we caught him and ran a little better than him, he just took off faster and his car was turning better at the beginning of the run and he must have got loose at the end of the run when we passed him early in the race. He was just better the whole run. He could take off faster. Sometimes we'd catch him at the end of the run, but the last time I think he was probably more balanced throughout the whole run than we were. He'd take off fast and end up fairly fast."

-ford racing-

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup