This Week in Ford Racing September 9, 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Power Tools Taurus, has led the NASCAR Winston Cup points standings for 23 consecutive races heading into this weekend's Sylania 300 at New...
This Week in Ford Racing
September 9, 2003
NASCAR Winston Cup
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Power Tools Taurus, has led the NASCAR Winston Cup points standings for 23 consecutive races heading into this weekend's Sylania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Kenseth, who led the series with five victories in 2002, has reeled off an impressive 17 consecutive top-15 finishes and 24 top-15s in 26 starts this season, and holds a commanding 418-point lead in standings. Kenseth won the pole and finished third in the series' first trip to New Hampshire this season.
MATT KENSETH , No. 17 DeWalt Power Tools Taurus
HAS THE VIEW FROM THE TOP CHANGED AS THE SEASON HAS PROGRESSED?
"Every week that goes by and every race that's done, and if the lead stays the same or gets bigger, you feel a little bit better about it, but there's a lot of racing to do and anything can happen. There's still a lot of racing to do, but I feel better about it today then I did in June, for sure."
YOU HAVE REELED OFF 17 CONSECUTIVE TOP-15s...
"They're just all numbers, but are about being able to be this consistent and the great preparation that everybody has done on these cars to get them to the finish every week. I mean, that's been really good, but it's also something that you can't let your guard down with, and you got to keep focusing on getting stuff prepared right, and not making mistakes on the track or in the pits or at the motor shop or chassis shop, wherever, just not making any mistakes and getting to the end of the races."
HOW DOES THIS TEAM COMPARE TO WHERE IT WAS A YEAR AGO AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON? DOES ANYTHING STAND OUT?
"I'd say we're probably about the same. I mean, there's always room for improvement. There's probably some areas where we're a little weaker in than what we were last year at this time, and there's some areas that we're probably a lot stronger than we were at this time last year. So, I think that overall we've done a better job of being smarter and getting to the end of the races, and not making our bad days so bad, and still we've been competitive enough to win races like we did last year, we just haven't had maybe quite the luck or the races haven't fell exactly our way to be able to win as much as we did last year. But, I think our cars have been real competitive every week."
THERE HAS BEEN PLENTY OF TALK RECENTLY ABOUT REVAMPING THE POINTS SYSTEM, IN PART, PERHAPS, BECAUSE OF YOUR BIG LEAD WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF MANY VICTORIES. HOWEVER, A NUMBER OF DRIVERS HAVE SAID THAT YOU HAVE HAD A TREMENDOUS YEAR AND DESERVE TO BE THE POINTS LEADER. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU WHEN YOU HEAR OTHER DRIVERS POINT OUT THE LEVEL OF YOUR SUCCESS?
"Whenever one of your peers says anything good about you or your team, it's obviously a big compliment and you sure appreciate that, and that's nice to have people like that speak highly of you. We've just had a good year. We've been running good and we've been consistent and we've been competitive, so I don't know that we're really doing anything different, anything special, and we're still only two-thirds of the way through the season, so there's still a lot of racing to go, but so far it's been going good, and it went good last year, so I think we learned a lot last year that helped us do a little bit better this year."
YOU'VE DONE WELL RECENTLY AT LOUDON.
"Yeah, I used to hate going up there. We used to run terrible there and I just never really liked it. But, the last three or four times we've been there we've been really competitive, so this seems like a track you can pass on it better than what you could a couple of years ago, and it's a track I look forward to going to. We ran decent the last three or four times we've been there, so I look forward to going up there, and, hopefully, running good."
EVEN THOUGH YOU'VE FARED WELL THERE RECENTLY, DOES THAT TRACK POSSESS ANY PARTICULAR CHALLENGES FOR YOU?
"It's a tough place to pass at still. I mean, you can pass, but it's a little bit difficult to pass. And, it has been tough for us to figure out how to get our car fast in the beginning of the run and at the end of the run. I usually have trouble getting going the first few laps there, so that's one thing that we got to try and work on is be faster out of the box and keep that speed."