Loudon II: Kenseth - Friday media visit

Matt Kenseth held aQ&A session after Friday's practice session for this weekend's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion "It's really no different at all with where we're at. We're in...

Matt Kenseth held aQ&A session after Friday's practice session for this weekend's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion

"It's really no different at all with where we're at. We're in the chase and things might change from week to week, but I kind of feel like we're not in it. We're ranked 12th right now and we're not particularly running well so far today, so we're just kind of giving it our all and try whatever we can to make our car run the best we can and just see how it goes."

BEING 300 MILES DO YOU HAVE TO GET AFTER IT QUICKER BECAUSE IT'S A SHORTER RACE? "No. You're always running as hard as you can run without trying to go over the edge and crash. There so hard to pass with, especially at tracks like this, that you try to run as hard as you can and get as many positions as you can the whole race."

YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHERE YOUR TEAM IS NOW? "I don't know. I'm glad we made it in, but we've got a ways to go, especially at tracks like this. We seem to be off a little bit, so they've been working hard and trying to get some better stuff to try and get it running better for me, but we'll kind of have a better idea, I guess, on Sunday night."

DO YOU FEEL YOUR TEAM MIGHT BE FLYING UNDER THE RADAR? "Today I don't. I might next week or the week after, but I don't feel like it today. I don't feel like we're really a legitimate threat at this point, but that could change. Hopefully, it does."

HOW WAS YOUR CAR TODAY? "It was about 40th. I don't think it's typical. We're usually better than 39th or 40th."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE A NEW LEASE WITH THE CHASE STARTING? "Well, yeah as far as points go, but you've got to perform. Hopefully, we can get our performance up to where it needs to be or where we think we're capable of running. We are closed up in the points, but you've got to run good at the same time. You can't just get closed up in the points and keep running how you are because you'll just be behind in two weeks anyway. I feel good that everything got all basically evened up and now we've just got to go out and get running better and be able to run with those guys."

ARE YOU SAYING THE TOP THREE ARE STILL BIG FAVORITES? "I think so, not just because of where they are in the points, but because of how they've been performing. Those guys between the three of them have won most of the races this year and it's been hard to beat those guys for everybody, so I would say that they are probably the favorites today."

WERE YOU UNHAPPY AFTER PRACTICE? "If you look at the time sheets, we're just not running good. We're about 40th or 39th or something like that, so you're not gonna be too happy being seven-tenths off and being 40th on the sheet. You can't be too happy about that, and if you are, you're probably in the wrong business."

THEY SAY IT TAKES ON AVERAGE A 7.5 FINISH TO WIN THE TITLE. ARE YOU GUYS GOOD ENOUGH TO AVERAGE THAT? "Maybe with no trouble, but last year I think it took more like a 4.8 and a 5.0 or something like that. That's pretty unbelievable. We certainly aren't there today, but anything can happen. If you don't have trouble and you can run good and run in the top 10, I think right now we're capable of running in the top 10 and at some of our good tracks, maybe in the top five, but I don't think we're in the class those other guys are where they can go out and run in the top five and top three and lead laps every week. I don't feel like we're there yet. We're working really hard at it, but, right now, we're not there."

IS QUALIFYING MORE IMPORTANT THESE LAST 10 RACES? "Overall, with this car qualifying has been a lot more important and track position is now a lot more important than it used to be. We used to be able to work our way up through the field a little bit better, where you're really seeing this year -- I can think of some races like Bristol, where the top five basically ran in the top five all night. Nobody came from the back and challenged them. They never fell to the back and drove back through the pack. It just seems like it's a lot tougher to change positions, so, yeah, qualifying I would say is more important than it's been in the past."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth