Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, has finished in the top 10 in six of his last nine starts at Dover -- including a win in this race last year. Kenseth has finished 14th or better in each of the last 11 races of this season,...
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, has finished in the top 10 in six of his last nine starts at Dover -- including a win in this race last year. Kenseth has finished 14th or better in each of the last 11 races of this season, and heads into this weekend's race in third place in the points standings.
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM THE CAR OF TOMORROW AT THIS TRACK? "I really don't know yet, until we get some practice. I really don't know. I think it'll change the racing a little bit, I know the cars will drive a lot different than our standard cars do here, but the track, in the past few years, it seems like it's widened out and a couple of grooves have come in and it should be much different this week."
"We've run not the best in the COT races -- we haven't run terrible but we really have been a contender to win, so I don't see that being a lot different this weekend. Hopefully, we gained on it a little bit. I thought gained a little bit at Darlington and was a lot more competitive, so hopefully we can take that other step and get a little closer to the front this week."
ON TRYING TO CATCH UP TO HENDRICK. "They took away a lot of areas you can work in, but there's still a lot of areas you can work in -- all of the front suspension stuff and springs and shocks and bump stops and all that stuff. Hendrick's just been working on it for a long time. We haven't really been testing. We know that we're behind on it. They've been working on it for a year, and we've been working on it for three months. So, we're just behind, and slowly we're getting caught up, and I think we'll be alright but I think it's going to take a little bit of time."
WHAT ABOUT RUNNING THE CAR OF TOMORROW AT ALL THE RACES NEXT YEAR? "I think you need to do one or the other. I don't think it's very practical to run two different style cars all year and prepare two different cars and tests and build parts for them and do all that, so certainly if that's the direction we're going to go, I think the sooner we go to it, the better."
HOW DO YOU APPROACH QUALIFYING, KNOWING THAT IF YOU'RE REALLY SLOW YOU MIGHT HAVE TO SHARE A PIT STALL? "I never even thought of it until you brought it up. We just approach qualifying like any other track. Without the test here, we'll probably work on race trim all day and just, if we get time and we think we're running okay, put the qualifying set-up in it and try to make a practice run, but most likely we'll just go in race trim and when it's time to qualify just go get the best lap that we can."
IS IT IMPORTANT TO QUALIFY WELL AT THIS TRACK? "I think it's relatively important to qualify well everywhere, but on the other side of that, all of these races are long, it's 400 miles, and if your car handles good, typically there's not a ton of cars on the lead lap and if you can run good here you've got enough time to get to the front."
HOW HAVE YOU RECOVERED FROM THE LONG STAY IN CHARLOTTE? "I haven't, yet; I've been sick about the last four days. Certainly, it's been nice the last month to basically be at home, and now we're back on the road, but there's a lot different stuff going on running the standard cars, the COT cars, the Busch cars and all that, so next week it'll probably be more relaxing -- no Busch racing, running the standard car, running at Pocono, not much goes on up there."
DO YOU EVER FIND YOURSELF NOT KNOWING WHICH CAR TO GET INTO? "Well, there are times, yeah, I think about it, but it's just with my paint jobs, but certainly know I've got to think about it with the two different style cars."
WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT FIVE CARS COULD MAKE IT AT THE END OF THAT LAST RUN LAST WEEK AT CHARLOTTE? "Yeah, I was really surprised because when I asked Robbie after we pitted there, he said nobody was even close to making it, he said we were 10 laps short, nobody was even close. So, at the time, I didn't think anybody was even going to try it, I really wasn't made aware of that, so yeah that was a little bit of a surprise."
WAS IT DISAPPOINTING, SEEING AS YOU WERE LOOKING AT A TOP-FIVE? "It's disappointing. With about 100 miles to go, we were running in the top three, and we made an adjustment and kind of went the wrong way and then with them guys making it on fuel we end up finishing 12th, the last car on the lead lap. So certainly, we raced for over five hours and be fairly competitive and make your car better all night and then at the end have everything go a little bit haywire is disappointing, but there's a lot of guys who had a lot worse nights than that."
ARE YOU STILL SICK, OR ARE YOU STARTING TO GET OVER IT? "I sure hope I'm starting to get over it, but I'm pretty sick today."
IT'LL BE A HOT WEEKEND. WHAT ABOUT FLUIDS? "You try to get rested up and eat right and drink as much as you can -- hopefully, try to get rid of it. It's just part of it. We race pretty much every week, so you're bound to be sick once in a while during a race weekend."
WHAT STANDS OUT FROM LAST YEAR'S WIN HERE AT DOVER? "Just how good our car handled and racing with Jamie right down the end there, so that was a great race. The fall race we ran really well, too. We almost pulled off both of them. We had a great car here last year. I wish we could run it again."
HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU GOING INTO THIS WEEKEND'S RACE? "That's a question I could better answer after practice. I always feel confident in my team and what they can do on pit road and preparing cars and all that, but I don't know, we've been behind a little bit on these COT cars and I don't know if we're still behind it or if we caught up a little bit. I don't really know until we get on track."
-credit: ford racing