Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, is the points leader going into Sunday's DirecTV 500. Kenseth spoke about the end of last week's race at Bristol after practice on Friday. MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion A WEEK...
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, is the points leader going into Sunday's DirecTV 500. Kenseth spoke about the end of last week's race at Bristol after practice on Friday.
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion
A WEEK AFTER BRISTOL. HAVE YOU TALKED WITH JEFF? "I talked to him after the race. We had a discussion after that. It's a new week and I think you've just got to go with thinking about Martinsville. This is probably one of my worst tracks and the more I think about here is how I can do better here."
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT HIS PENALTY? "I don't know. I don't think he should have been penalized at all. The deal was my fault. I made a mistake and I should have known better to go over there and try to apologize. He's mad. He's running third on the last lap and got taken out, so I would have been mad too. You've got to have personalities in people with reactions and emotions. That's what makes the sport so great, so I feel bad he got penalized at all because the whole deal was my fault to begin with."
THOUGHTS ON GETTING CAUGHT UP IN ACCIDENTS HERE? "Stuff happens here. You're going so slow that even if you get caught up in somebody else's mess, you usually just tear the body up a little bit. You're going pretty slow here and you can stop. The main thing I worry about here is just trying to pass. It's very hard to pass."
WAS JEFF THE LAST PERSON YOU WOULD EXPECT TO REACT THAT WAY? "No, not really. Everybody gets mad. It was bad timing for me to try and go up to talk to him. You've got a lot of emotion. Everybody is out there trying as hard as they can try, so when things don't go right, you're always gonna be upset."
WILL WE SEE MORE OF THE SAME THIS WEEKEND? "Martinsville is tough to pass. I think the main thing is it's just like Bristol -- you want to get your car to handle the best you can so you don't get in an altercation." THOUGHTS ON DJ AT THE END OF THE RACE ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE. WHAT DO YOU THINK HE SHOULD HAVE DONE? "He definitely had a right to be there. He had a right for that and there's no question of that. The only thing I would say is that there's a bit of common courtesy, usually, to get out of the way of the leaders with 10 to go, but there's nothing that says you have to do it. He's racing for position and he has as much right to that space as I do."
IS THERE A CHANCE FOR PAYBACK THIS WEEK? "I don't think very much. I don't think that really happens as much as you guys want to say it happens. If it did, I certainly don't think it would be the next week."
WHY CAN'T YOU GUYS JUST ALL GET ALONG? "We basically do. We basically all get along pretty good, but there's a lot of pressure. Everybody is trying really hard. Everybody wants to win and everybody is racing as hard as they can. Everybody is trying hard and everybody is racing hard and you know you're gonna have things happen."
THOUGHTS ON BEING THE POINT LEADER. "It's a good spot to be in. I feel good about that. We're a lot farther ahead than where we were last year. I think we were 28th coming into Martinsville. There are still a lot of races left to do this year, but I definitely feel good with our strong start."
HAVE YOU TALKED TO JARRETT? "No, I haven't talked to him. I don't really feel a need to talk to him. He didn't really do anything wrong. He definitely didn't do anything wrong. He has as much right to that space as I have for sure. It's just that the last race he won I drafted with him and pushed him to the win when I could have chose anybody. It's just kind of a common courtesy. With 10 to go if he was on my bumper I'd get out of the way because he didn't have anything to gain by not getting out of the way. Whoever you're running with, if you're 20th and you're one lap down or you're 20th and on the lead lap, you still finish 20th. I was just hoping for a little room, but there's nothing that says you have to give room or you have to get out of the way or any of that. He has as much right to that space as I do. There's nothing that says you have to do it. It's kind of common courtesy or kind of an unspoken thing that you hope people will try to give you some room at the end of the race."