Darlington: Matt Kenseth preview

FAST FACTS * Matt Kenseth has an average starting position of 13.4 this season. That's by far the best of his NEXTEL Cup career since he began racing full time in the series in 2000, beating his next best average starting position of 17.02 in ...

FAST FACTS

* Matt Kenseth has an average starting position of 13.4 this season. That's by far the best of his NEXTEL Cup career since he began racing full time in the series in 2000, beating his next best average starting position of 17.02 in 2005.

* Kenseth is one of only two drivers (Jimmie Johnson) that has remained inside the top four in the NEXTEL Cup point standings since Fontana, the second race of the season.

* Kenseth's 38th place finish at Richmond last weekend was his worst finish since finishing 42nd at Phoenix, Apr. '05.

* Kenseth's Busch Series record at Darlington is brilliant. In 11 starts he has recorded two victories, seven top fives, ten top 10s, never finished worse than 12th, and has completed every lap in all 11 races (1617 of 1617).

* Kenseth's average finish at Darlington in the NBS is 4.6; that ranks second best (Daytona) for active tracks for Kenseth in the NBS. It's also tops among active NBS drivers with four or more starts at Darlington.

* Kenseth is ranked 15th in the NBS point standings heading into Darlington despite having started only seven of the series 11 events. Remarkably, Kenseth is ahead of 11 drivers who have started in all 11 NBS races this season.

Kenseth on racing at Darlington Raceway:

"Darlington is kind of like our Lambeau field. There's a lot of history there and it's one of the places everyone wants to win at before they retire. Personally, I think the track is pretty cool. It's definitely unique. The track is so abrasive that your tires give up really fast. Darlington definitely rewards those drivers who can take care of their equipment. Fresh tires make a huge difference there. You saw that at the end of the Cup race last year when Newman was out front with worn tires on a green-white-checkered finish and the guys with fresh tires just blew right past him."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing Darlington Raceway:

"We're bringing a car to Darlington that ran real good in Atlanta earlier this year. We had some tire issues there but nothing that isn't correctable. Tire strategy isn't that big of a factor at Darlington because tires mean so much you have to take four or you're a sitting duck. There's not much of a decision on whether to take two tires or no tires, you need to take four every time. We'll be looking to turn our Darlington luck around this weekend. The past few races there haven't gone as planned to say the least, but we've been running pretty good lately and this team has a lot of confidence going in."

Matt Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Darlington Raceway:

"We've had a lot of success at Darlington in the Busch Series. I've always enjoyed racing there. It's just a fun place to drive. Maybe some of my success there will rub off on my Cup car. Robbie and I won here in John's (Reiser) car back in 1999 and that was definitely a special day for all of us. This is one of those tracks that has always been good to me in the Busch Series and one of the reason I love going to Darlington."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Darlington Raceway:

"Darlington is a great track and presents a lot of challenges for a race team. The tire wear is so great that lap times fall off pretty drastically over the course of a run. With NASCAR limiting the sets of tires that Busch Series' teams can use over the course of a race weekend, it may very well come down to whoever has saved that last set of tires for the end of the race on Friday night."

-rr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Jimmie Johnson