Martinsville II: Matt Kenseth preview

Kenseth, No. 17 DEWALT Team Head Back to Martinsville After a strong second-place finish at Charlotte, Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT Racing Team head to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, having posted top-five finishes in two of the last four ...

Kenseth, No. 17 DEWALT Team Head Back to Martinsville

After a strong second-place finish at Charlotte, Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT Racing Team head to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, having posted top-five finishes in two of the last four races.

KENSETH AT MARTINSVILLE

While Kenseth admits Martinsville is not his favorite track, he has had recent success on the small paper clip. In fact, three of Kenseth's six career top-10 finishes have come in the last five races at Martinsville, including one of his top-five finishes that came in the fall of '07.

UPSWING

Kenseth's second-place run last week at Charlotte was his best since winning back-to-back races to begin the season in February. In addition, the fourth-place qualifying effort was his best since winning the pole at Darlington in May. The start-finish average (3) is Kenseth's best this season. It marked his second top-five finish in the past four races and his sixth top- five finish and 11th top-10 finish of the year.

LOOKING FOR WIN NO. 1

Martinsville 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.

MATTKenseth:

"I've never really been very good at getting around Martinsville. I think you have to get the car to turn good in the center, but you still have to have good rear traction on the exit. "Some people just go there and run really good and other people don't, but it's also about getting your car to run fast. We've run good at Martinsville before and we've had some good finishes there, but we've run bad there as well. For me, it's just a particularly frustrating race track."It's hard to be patient. It seems like you're always getting run into or you're running into somebody, or there's not enough room. So it's just kind of a frustrating place. I think my biggest problem probably all the time here has been giving the right information to the crew. I feel like if my car is as fast as anyone else's, I can drive with them there. It's not really a very tricky place to get around. It's pretty basic. There's a curb so you can't go any lower and it's pretty slow. It's not that hard of a track to drive around, but it's really hard for me to dissect the car with what it's doing and what I need to change to make it feel like I want."

FAST FACTS

* Kenseth has two top-five and six top-10 finishes in 19 races at Martinsville.

* Kenseth has finished top 10 in three of his last five races at Martinsville.

* Kenseth's best finish (2nd) at Martinsville came in the Spring race of 2002.

* Kenseth has finished top five in two of his last four races this season.

* Kenseth finished 23rd at Martinsville in the Spring after getting involved in a late accident.

* Kenseth qualified fourth and finished second in last week's race at Charlotte.

* In addition to Martinsville, Kenseth will run the Nationwide Race at Memphis on Saturday afternoon.

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth