Fontana: Kenseth - Friday Ford interview

Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Carhartt/DEWALT Ford Fusion, has won the last two February races at California Speedway, and has seven top-10 finishes in his last nine Sprint Cup races overall at the two-mile track. Rain, so far, has delayed or...

Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Carhartt/DEWALT Ford Fusion, has won the last two February races at California Speedway, and has seven top-10 finishes in his last nine Sprint Cup races overall at the two-mile track. Rain, so far, has delayed or cancelled much of the on-track activity on Friday.

ON RACING AT CALIFORNIA THIS WEEK. "I'm looking forward to it -- if we can ever get on the race track. I thought we had a pretty productive test, I thought everything went pretty well, and I'm looking forward to it."

DOES THE EARLY PART OF THIS SCHEDULE SUIT YOUR STRENGTH? THERE USED TO BE AN EARLY BREAK. DOES THAT HELP WITH YOUR MOMENTUM? "It depends on what your momentum is, but I don't think it matters. I don't think that off-weekend helped anything that early in the year. Everybody should already have their stuff done for the first few weeks. I think it's better to go out and race for five weeks, and then get a break and evaluate where you're at, and work on your stuff from there. I always thought that break on week three was kind of silly. We could've used it later in the year a little bit. I like it a lot better having the break later. It seemed like you'd just get started and then take a week off, so I think it's better like this."

BEFORE THIS YEAR, WITH THE OLD CAR, TEAMS WOULD POINT TO THE RACE AFTER DAYTONA TO BETTER SEE WHAT EVERYBODY WOULD HAVE FOR THE YEAR. WITH THE CURRENT CAR, IS THAT ANY DIFFERENT NOW? "Well, nothing from Daytona relates to here, if that's what you're asking. But I think we might have a little bit of an idea, we tested for four days -- we went to Vegas for two days and here for two days last month -- so that should've given you some idea, since everybody was here, to where you stack up with your competition and what your strong suits are and weak points are, and all that."

YOU'VE BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL HERE, AND SO HAS ROUSH FENWAY RACING. ARE WHATEVER ELEMENTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THAT SUCCESS TRANSFERABLE TO THIS NEW CAR? OR IS THIS A CLEAN SHEET OF PAPER FOR YOU NOW? "Yeah, but this car is totally different -- nothing works off that other car to this one, so none of that is going to relate. But, as much as we learned about that other car in the last four years -- we didn't run the same setup last spring as we did the year before in the spring. Everything always changes, and you've got to be able to adapt to those changes. This is obviously a bigger change than the other car was from year to year, but nothing really stays the exactly the same. You're always trying to learn -- changing the tire, track conditions are always changing."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth