Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, held his weekly Q&A session in the Martinsville Speedway infield media center before Friday's practice session. Kenseth is 10th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. YOUR...
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, held his weekly Q&A session in the Martinsville Speedway infield media center before Friday's practice session. Kenseth is 10th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings.
YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE LAST FEW RACES GOING INTO THIS WEEKEND? "Not too good. We've not had a very good last three races. It's been pretty challenging to say the least, so I always feel like this is one of my worst places. I seem to struggle here, but as bad as things were last week, I don't think they can be much worse. So I'm looking forward to getting on the track today and forgetting about last week."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE BUSCH BROTHERS STREAK AND IF IT CAN LAST? ARE THERE PERSONALITIES A GOOD THING FOR NASCAR? "The last part I have no idea whether it's a good thing for NASCAR, but I think Kyle proved last year he can win at any race track every week, and I think everybody has known Kurt can do it. When Kurt was at Roush and was in real good stuff with Jimmy Fennig, their personalities worked so well together. That was kind of the magic, in my opinion, and he's taken awhile to get that back going to Penske, but, certainly, if he can get that relationship going with Pat and they can get their stuff running good enough, Kurt is more than capable of winning every week, too. So they certainly could keep winning."
HOW MUCH DO YOU WATCH THE WEATHER LIKE THIS WEEKEND? AND YOUR THOUGHTS ON COMING TO A SHORT TRACK? "You pay attention to the weather somewhat, but there's really nothing you can do to change your plan. The only thing that would change it a little bit was if you had a pretty strong feeling it was gonna rain tomorrow and not today, then maybe you'd work on race setup longer today instead of working on qualifying, but, other than that, you're not really gonna do anything about it on Friday and Saturday. If you run if you run, if you don't, you don't. As far as being at a short track, I like coming to short tracks. This hasn't necessarily been one of the very good ones for me. It's been frustrating, but pretty much everybody grew up racing at short tracks. Everybody had to start at a smaller track before they moved up here. There are a few people the just jumped right into it, but most people have short track backgrounds, so it's not like you really have a big advantage or something different really going on, but it's always fun to come back to little tracks."
HAS THERE BEEN A POINT WHERE YOU FEEL YOU'RE GETTING IT AT THIS TRACK OR ARE YOU STILL WAITING FOR THE SWITCH TO TURN ON? "I don't know. I think there's certainly some truth to being better at some places than others. Some people just come here and run really good and other people don't, but it's also about getting your car to run fast. We've run good here before and we've had some good finishes here before, but we've run bad here before. 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 the 48, I can drive with him here. It's not really a very tricky place to get around. It's pretty basic. I mean, 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. I seem to have a hard time that if I go out there and it's not just how I want, getting it how I want it and giving Drew and Chip and the guys the right information to give me what I need to run good here."
LOOKING AHEAD TO TALLADEGA. IS IT A PROBLEM THAT DAYTONA HAS YOUR CAR? "No, not anymore. I think with these cars they're so similar and so close to the same that it's not like the old days with speedway cars when you would spend so much time in a wind tunnel with them testing and fine-tuning them and doing all that stuff. They're all really close to the same, so I'm not really worried about losing that car at all."
WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON THE NO-TESTING POLICY AFTER FIVE RACES? IS IT A GOOD IDEA OR A BAD IDEA? "It depends on the week for me. I think though, seriously, overall, I think it's a great idea. I think with the amount of practice we have here with this car that's been the same rules for two years -- a full year-and-a-half of racing going on the third season without moving splitter heights or changing any of the aerodynamic balances -- none of that stuff we mess with anymore, so I don't think it's a big deal. We've all been working with the car and everybody has a basic idea of where to start and I think the practice at the track is really adequate. It's not like the old car where you could put two totally different bodies on the cars and go to the track and test and say, 'Oh yeah, this one drives way better than that one.' I mean, those days are kind of gone, unless they ever open the rulebook back up again. All of the cars are pretty close to the same, so you just bring a car to the track and start working on it."
ALL OF THE FORDS STRUGGLED AT BRISTOL? WAS THAT A BRISTOL PROBLEM OR SHORT TRACK IN GENERAL PROBLEM? "Since we're at Martinsville, I hope it was a Bristol problem. Really, it was our problem. All of the Ford teams are really kind of the same. We all use the same engineering and the same engineering and the same information and all the same stuff to get to a point, so our cars were all somewhat similar and it seems like we all kind of missed it, although if Greg wouldn't have blown up, he was running all right and Greg probably would have ran in the top five. But, other than that, we all seemed like we were off. I don't know where we would have finished. I hit the wall early, which messed up my front end a little bit, so I took myself out of the race. I don't really know how we would have ran, but it did seem like we struggled more than normal there."
IN 2010 THE SUPER BOWL WILL BE THE SAME SUNDAY AS QUALIFYING AND THE BUD SHOOTOUT WILL BE OVERSHADOWED BY THE PREVIEW OF NFL STUFF. WHAT CAN NASCAR DO TO CREATE ITS OWN BUZZ? "I don't know. I didn't know they moved it, so I have no idea. I'd have to give that one some thought. I don't know. We all try to help out wherever we can, but I don't really sit and spend a lot of time about how to promote a race. I spend more time about trying to get better than running 34th like we did last week. That consumes pretty much all of my time and all of my thoughts. I haven't really thought about that. I didn't even know they moved the game. I think the 500 this year was sold out again, or close to it, so that was good. The only thing that I can't really control, either, but I think the product on the track is one of the most important things -- to make sure that the rules are such so we put on a good race."
-credit: ford racing