Indianapolis: Matt Kenseth preview

Kenseth, No. 17 Eye Another Big Prize at Indy After a weekend off, Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT Race team turn their attention tothe famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Brickyard 400. Already having taken home a Daytona 500 trophy...

Kenseth, No. 17 Eye Another Big Prize at Indy

After a weekend off, Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT Race team turn their attention tothe famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Brickyard 400. Already having taken home a Daytona 500 trophy in 2009, the team will look to claim another crown jewel this week in Indianapolis.

AT THE BRICKYARD

Kenseth has accumulated four top-five (ties for third most among active drivers) and five top 10 finishes (ties for fifth) in nine races at Indianapolis. In addition, he has scored the third most points (1,095) during the span of his nine starts at the 2.5-mile track. He has finished inside the top 10 in three of his last four and five of his last seven and inside the top five in four of his last seven at IMS. His best starts (10th) at Indy came last season, in a strong effort that ended with a blown tire.

PULLING THE DOUBLE SWEEP

Kenseth will look to become only the third driver in the 15 year history of the Brickyard to win both the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season. Dale Jarrett swept the 'big two' in '99, while Jimmie Johnson accomplished the feat in 2006. In 15 races the Brickyard has seen six different winners.

LOOKING FOR NUMBER WON

Kenseth will look for his first win this weekend at Indy, but he has been close, finishing second there in '03 and '06 and third in '02. Indy is one of 11 active tracks on the circuit where Kenseth has yet to win a Cup race. Kenseth's 18 wins have come at 11 of the active tracks and at Rockingham (where the series stopped racing after 2004). In addition, Kenseth has led at all 22 tracks with the exception of Sonoma, including 28 laps at IMS. He has never led more than 10 laps in a race at Indy.

DOUBLE DUTY

In addition to the Brickyard this weekend, Kenseth will race across town at O'Reilly Raceway Park (ORP). It will mark his first start at the 3/4-mile track this decade. Kenseth raced there in 97', 98' and '99 posting three top-10's and a top five finish (fourth in '99). During that span he turned 100 percent of the laps at the track and turned in an average finish of 5.3, while leading 58 laps.

POINTS BATTLE HEATS UP

Kenseth dropped to 12th in the Sprint Cup point standings after Chicagoland. In a points race for a Chase position, that sees only 36 points separate ninth and 13th positions, Kenseth currently trails ninth by just 26 points and leads 13th by only 10 points; only 13 points separate 13th and 10th places. Kenseth is only 40 points outside of 8th and just 89 points out of seventh.

MATT KENSETH...

"Indy ranks right at the top, or close to the top, on races you'd like to win in your career. We were fortunate enough to win the Daytona 500 this year. That race and Indy are two of the ones that everyone really looks at. We've been close a few times over the years and we've been real competitive. Actually a couple of times we've been there we've had some problems, but we've always ran pretty good. Last year we had our best qualifying effort there we've had, but lost out on the tire deal when our tire blew. I always feel like we have a shot when we go there, and it's certainly one we'd like to pull off this weekend.

"We've had some tough outings lately and some bad luck as well, and I can't think of a better place to go get our season back on track than Indianapolis this weekend."

FAST FACTS...

* Kenseth has four top five and five top-10 finishes at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

* Kenseth has finished inside the top 10 in three of the last four and five of the last seven at IMS.

* Kenseth has finished inside the top five in four of the last seven at Indy.

* Kenseth posted his career best starting finish (10th) at Indy last season.

* Kenseth will also race this weekend across town at ORP in the Nationwide Series, his first start there since 1999.

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Matt Kenseth , Jimmie Johnson