Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Nano Technology Ford Fusion, has qualified for the Chase in each of the format's four seasons, and was the last driver to win the championship under the previous format. He heads into this weekend's race...
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Nano Technology Ford Fusion, has qualified for the Chase in each of the format's four seasons, and was the last driver to win the championship under the previous format. He heads into this weekend's race in seventh place in the standings.
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Nano Technology Ford Fusion
HOW DOES THIS TRACK FIGURE INTO YOUR STRATEGY FOR THE CHASE? "The same as every other track. All 10 races are equally important, they all pay the same amount of points. They're all important. You have to get the best you can out of each and every track. I feel like this is one of our better tracks, but with this car we're still kind of searching to figure out exactly what we need to make it feel the way I want to make it feel."
ON HAVING A TEAMMATE ALSO IN THE CHASE. "I don't think it changes the strategy or how we share information or how we work together. We all five work together the same, whether we're all in the Chase or none of us are in the Chase -- I think we're still going to do everything the same as always."
"It doesn't change whether you're in the Chase or not, so we all share information every week, and that doesn't change when we get in the Chase. So we still look at everybody's information, and obviously the guy who's running the best we probably look at their stuff a little closer than everybody else's -- it doesn't matter whether that driver is in the Chase or not in the Chase."
ON WEEKENDS WITH THE CAR OF TOMORROW THAT IT HASN'T BEEN GOOD AT THE BEGINNING OF PRACTICE, HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO GET IT BETTER IN TIME, OR WHEN YOU'RE NOT GOOD EARLY YOU'RE NOT GOOD LATER IN THE WEEKEND? "We try, and we always try to get it better, and there have been weekends where we've unloaded not-so-good and ended up pretty decent, and there have been weekends where we never really found exactly what it needs. Last weekend we improved ourselves all weekend and ran pretty good in the race, and hopefully we'll do the same here. I didn't think we unloaded terrible, and it's really hard to tell the first practice, you know, when you ask us on Friday because there's a lot of guys just working on qualifying, there's some guys working on qualifying and racing, and there's some guys that are mostly just working on race set-ups, so it's really hard to tell on qualifying day. You've really got a lot better idea after Saturday is over."
IS THIS CHASE DIFFERENT IN THAT THERE ARE MORE YOUNG DRIVERS THAN THE PREVIOUS THREE? "You never know what it's going to come down to. I think all 12 have got a legitimate shot at it. It's the same guys you're racing all year. The guys who run good all year are the guys who end up in the Chase. The group changes a little bit every year and it'll change a little bit more next year as the older, experienced more veteran guys retire or step down or whatever, you're going to get younger guys in there to replace them, so it's just kind of the evolution of the sport."
HIS IMPRESSIONS OF THE DRIVERS IN THE CHASE. "I'm impressed with them all, but it's a team sport and it's really about your equipment more so than the driver. I think there are more good teams today than there probably has ever been and the competition has been tighter than what it's ever been and everybody's running closer to the same speed than they ever have, so for a young driver to get in the stuff today they have a pretty good advantage because all the teams are pretty good."
-credit: ford racing