Martinsville II: Matt Kenseth preview

Matt Kenseth -- NSCS Advance Team: No. 17 R+L Carriers/DEWALT Ford Fusion Crew Chief: Chip Bolin Chassis: RK-574 Last outing: Richmond, Sept. '08 -- started ninth, finished 39th after an accident. Also raced Richmond, May '08 -- started 24th, ...

Matt Kenseth -- NSCS Advance
Team: No. 17 R+L Carriers/DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chip Bolin
Chassis: RK-574 Last outing: Richmond, Sept. '08 -- started ninth, finished 39th after an accident. Also raced Richmond, May '08 -- started 24th, finished 38th after yet, another accident.

QUOTES

Kenseth on racing at Martinsville Speedway:

"Martinsville is a track I usually dread racing at. To me, and I've said this many times, Martinsville reminds me of racing around two light poles in some mall parking lot. There's very little room to race, it's slow and just real tight quarters - there's nothing fun about that to me. But, it's a stop we make twice a year and I am going to focus on getting the best finish I can. We had a good showing there in the fall last year -- one of the 17 team's best, so hopefully this fall race will be much of the same.

"The race last week at Charlotte was one of many horrible weekends we've had this year. It has been tough for us over the past several weeks; it's been borderline miserable for sure. There have been a couple of bright spots, but even when things go right they go wrong. But, I race as hard as I can race every single race. We do everything we know how to do to try to win races and bring our best stuff and race as hard as we can, and you can't do any more than that. The second you try to do more than that is when you end up wrecked, or have problems, or make mistakes, so we're doing everything we can do. If it all lines up and something happens and we can win a race or two here before the end of the season that would be great. Hopefully we can have our stuff running good enough to be able to get one."

Crew chief Chip Bolin on racing at Martinsville Speedway:

"For the majority of the season I feel like we take two steps forward and three steps back. A feast or famine season, for sure. With just five races remaining, I'd like to see our luck change and end the season on high note. But sometimes the outcome is out of our control. So, we'll just continue working hard and trying to give Matt competitive race cars and do our best to salvage something out of the rest of this year.

"Martinsville has been a very, very painful place for team 17. Our best finish there is second place -- as soon as we kind of got the track figured out, they reconfigured it. Since then, our best finish is fifth. I feel like last fall was our best showing at Martinsville. Matt actually raced his way to a fifth-place finish. There was no fuel strategy or anything in that race. He started 24th and finished fifth. Hopefully this weekend will be much the same."

FAST FACTS

* Matt Kenseth will make his 18th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Martinsville Speedway this weekend in the TUMS QuikPak 500.

* For the Record...In his previous starts at Martinsville, Kenseth has achieved two top-five and five top-10 finishes. Kenseth has completed 8397 of 8506 (98.7%) laps attempted at the .526-mile track. He has led a total of 60 laps there.

* On the track...The No. 17 will sport the green and yellow colors of R+L Carriers this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Team 17 will be unloading chassis RK-574. Kenseth raced this car at both Richmond races this year. Each time, he was relegated to less than stellar finishes due to accidents.

* Rewind... In Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Kenseth struggled with what he described as a "wicked loose" race car for the first part of the race. However after a number of aggressive adjustments, things were looking up for Kenseth, but bad luck found team 17 on lap 194 when the Carhartt Ford was tagged from behind and slammed into the front stretch wall. The damages incurred were terminal and Kenseth and crew were sent home with a 41st-place finish.

* The CHASE is on... Five races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup are complete and Kenseth is currently ranked 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, 360 markers behind point leader Jimmie Johnson.

-credit: rfr

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