Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Crown Royal Black Ford Fusion, enters Texas ninth in the point standings with three top-10’s and two top-five finishes in the first six races this year. Kenseth met with media members Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.
WHO DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST CLOSER IN CUP RIGHT NOW? “I am not into big nicknames but watching tape of the races Kevin (Harvick) won the last two races right at the end and everyone is calling him that. I don’t know if that is supposed to be my answer. I don’t know. I don’t think about stuff like that to be honest with you. I am not in the TV booth, so I don’t have to make stuff like that up.”
IF YOU ARE LEADING A RACE TOWARD THE END WHO IS THE LAST PERSON YOU WANT TO SEE IN YOUR REAR VIEW MIRROR? “Again, it probably isn’t the answer you want but anybody that is faster than you. I have lost more than one race in the last couple laps and it has never been the same guy – well actually it has been the same guy twice – Jeff Burton beat me with one or two to go here and 10 to go at Dover once. Jimmie has passed me in the last quarter one time. Anybody who is faster than you are and you are trying to hold them off you hate to see. Everybody in the garage is pretty good and if they have a faster car they are going to try to figure out how to win.”
IS THERE ANY TRACK YOU DON’T LIKE TO GO TO ON THE SCHEDULE? “There are some that you like more than others for sure. Martinsville is always one I kind of dread and get frustrated at. I am never usually in a good mood when I leave there or I make someone else mad. It is just one of those places I don’t do the best at. Once I get out of there I feel a little bit better.”
WHAT IS ONE WORD THAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU HEAR TALLADEGA? “I just think of a wreck.”
HOW HAS YOUR WEEKEND GONE SO FAR AND HOW WILL IT BE RACING AT NIGHT HERE? “We haven’t been on track at night yet and we won’t until the race starts so I don’t know what it will be like to race at night. The weekend has been good. We have great weather for night racing. It is really hot during the day and the fans should love it. I really like racing at night, especially Saturday night so I am looking forward to it. We have a lot of practice yet and qualifying so yesterday we seemed to really struggle and I am looking forward to getting on the track today and hopefully getting a little better.”
I really like racing at night, especially Saturday night so I am looking forward to it.
YOU HAVE TALKED ABOUT NOT WINNING A RACE IN TWO YEARS AND THERE ARE A LOT OF GUYS TRYING TO SNAP THOSE KINDS OF STREAKS. WHAT IS IT LIKE COMING TO A TRACK LIKE THIS AND TRYING TO BREAK A SKID LIKE THAT? “I think no matter how you are running or whatever situation it is, if you go to a track where you have had some past success at or you feel comfortable at or maybe you have done better than other tracks you are always going to have a little extra confidence or feel a little better about it. The fact of the matter is that you still can’t do it if you cars aren’t real fast and you don’t have a good night on the track and on pit road. You still have to put everything together. It is hard to do.”
WHAT CAN YOU LEARN IN PRACTICE DURING THE DAY THAT WILL CARRY OVER TO RACING AT NIGHT? “Probably not a lot. I wish the schedule would have allowed us a night time practice, especially coming in a day early it would have been nice to practice under the lights a little bit so we had some idea. It is the same for everybody though. We can’t test and nobody has been here in these conditions under lights and we just have to figure it out.”
LAST WEEKEND, YOU AND TONY AND MARK ALL GOT CAUGHT FOR SWITCHING LANES TOO EARLY. THAT SEEMS ODD FOR VETERAN DRIVERS TO HAVE THAT HAPPEN. “Yeah, it does seem somewhat odd because they have never enforced that before except for Daytona this year and the front of the pack switched lanes. Honestly it is something you don’t think about. I started the race 24th and the car beside me spun the tires and you always know you can’t pass before the start finish line and all that but really the spotter says you are clear and there is nobody along side of you I didn’t think it really mattered where you crossed the start-finish line. I could have waited 50 more feet and turn left and been fine but with that being said I do understand the rule and how they are going to enforce it better but some of that stuff is kind of gray. Where is inside and where is the outside if there are no cars around you? I understand what they are trying to do though.”
-source: ford racing