Fontana: Matt Kenseth preview

FAST FACTS * Kenseth, attempting to win the Auto Club 500 for a third-straight year, is the all-time leader in NASCAR wins at California speedway, posting six wins total; four in the Nationwide Series and two in the Sprint Cup Series. * KING...

FAST FACTS

* Kenseth, attempting to win the Auto Club 500 for a third-straight year, is the all-time leader in NASCAR wins at California speedway, posting six wins total; four in the Nationwide Series and two in the Sprint Cup Series.

* KING OF ROUND TWO: Since 2002, Kenseth has recorded four wins and six top-six finishes in the second race of the season: first at Rockingham '02, third at Rockingham '03, first at Rockingham in '04, sixth at Fontana in '05, and first at Fontana '06 & '07.

* Kenseth swept the February race weekend in 2007 at the California Speedway by winning the Busch and Cup race. Kenseth has now won the past two February Cup races at the Fontana, Calif. two-mile oval.

* In his career, Kenseth has led eight of his 12 Cup races at Fontana for a total of 379 laps, second most all time.

* Since entering the Cup Series in 2000, Kenseth's average finish at the two, two-mile tracks, (California and Michigan) is 10.2; tops among all drivers that have competed in all 29 Cup races at those tracks during that span.

* Kenseth will run the Carhartt paint scheme on Sunday for the first of four times this season. He won this event last year in the Carhartt scheme, marking the first time Kenseth had won a Cup event in a paint scheme other than DEWALT. The other three Carhartt races in '08 are Michigan in June, Loudon in Sep., and Charlotte in Oct.

* Last year's win in the Auto Club 500 marked the first career win for Chip Bolin as crew chief of the No. 17 team. It was his second race as interim crew chief during Robbie Reiser's four-race suspension.

Kenseth on racing at California Speedway:
"I never thought we'd win two years in a row, but I always feel pretty confident going to California. It's been one of our better tracks throughout our time in the Nationwide Series and in the Cup Series, so it's one I certainly look forward to. You look forward to trying to go get some momentum back after a disappointing Daytona 500, so, hopefully, it'll be alright.

"California's just a real big, wide track. You get a little bit of everything there. You get a lot of speed, especially this new car has less drag, so you really go fast down the straightaways. It's got some pretty big corners where you can run around the bottom or you can run up high and you're always kind of searching for a groove, so it's always a lot of fun.

"Obviously, we had a disappointing finish in the 500, but we made some great adjustments on the car during the race. We went from being good to getting off a little to figuring out how to fix it and being pretty competitive right before we got wrecked. So, obviously, it was a disappointing finish but it wasn't certainly any of our guy's fault. We had good pit stops, good adjustments and had ourselves in contention, so I thought, overall, it was good."

Crew Chief Chip Bolin on racing at California Speedway:
"Matt was really happy with the way we tested out in Fontana. The car seemed to be pretty fast and he seems to be pretty excited about getting back out there. I believe as long as we don't get caught up in anyone else's misfortune, we'll be fine.

"Fontana is a momentum track with really long, flowing corner. If you get off of one corner good, then you can get down through the next corner good. It kind of fits Matt's driving style. He's not necessarily the smoothest guy when it comes to throttle control; he likes to slam it and go. But, he's good about not slowing the car down too much getting in the corner and that lets him get through the middle of the corners a lot faster than most people can. So, it kind of suits his talents more than anything."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth