CONCORD, NC (April 6, 2005) - Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT Ford have not had a lot of success at Martinsville Speedway. In his ten starts there, Kenseth has posted one top-five and three top-ten finishes. In an effort to...
CONCORD, NC (April 6, 2005) - Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT Ford have not had a lot of success at Martinsville Speedway. In his ten starts there, Kenseth has posted one top-five and three top-ten finishes. In an effort to improve his finishes at the "paper-clip"-shaped track, the team took a day last week to test at Martinsville. .
"Every time we seem to get a handle on the track and the set-up, the track changes and we have to start from scratch all over again," said Robbie Reiser, crew chief for the No. 17. "We came close to figuring out our set- up, then they ground the track down, which changed things considerably. Just when we finally felt that we had caught up with that, the track was torn up last spring and was then repaved. After a substantial change like that, we have a two to three race learning curve to figure out the set-up again," he explained.
The DEWALT team is bringing a brand new car to Martinsville this weekend. During testing the team worked on the brakes and the handling of the car. According to Reiser, Martinsville is one of the tracks where a driver uses brakes the most. The team focused in part on achieving a balance between the front and rear brakes which felt most comfortable for Kenseth. Because track conditions will change between testing and the actual race day, Reiser concentrated on reaching a balance that his driver liked that will be somewhat adjustable when the team returns for race day.
Kenseth has had a season of disappointing finishes thus far. The cars have been fast enough to win races and the pit stops have been incredible. However, luck, or the lack thereof, has come into play in the early-going of the 2005 season as the No. 17 has been plagued by cut tires, broken parts and being caught up in crashes. "Most seasons when there are problems, you can pinpoint weaknesses and focus on improving them. This year, team-wise, we are right where we want to be. The pit stops have been the best since I've been working here and we've been qualifying better than in the past. We just need the luck factor to come our way. I think we have a top-five team, we just need the finishes to go along with our performance," commented Reiser.
Reiser says that his team is still searching for a good set-up for Martinsville and is unsure of how the car will perform this Sunday. Perhaps this will be the weekend that breaks the string of bad luck for the No. 17.
Roush Racing is a subsidiary of Livonia, Mich., based Roush Industries that operates 10 motorsports teams; five in the NASCAR Nextel Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch, the 2004 Nextel Cup Champion, three in the Busch Series with Martin, Kenseth and Edwards, and two in the Craftsman Truck Series with drivers Todd Kluever and Ricky Craven.