Kenseth on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "Bristol is a really fun race track for this DEWALT Team. The first challenge is qualifying because for positions 1-21 you pit on the frontstretch. The rest are on the backstretch. Last year, we...
Kenseth on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "Bristol is a really fun race track for this DEWALT Team. The first challenge is qualifying because for positions 1-21 you pit on the frontstretch. The rest are on the backstretch. Last year, we ended up starting 22nd each race, the first car on the backstretch. So that's my goal -- to qualify well. Then when the race starts, we tend to rely on our spotters to be well aware of where all the wrecks are happening. I'll have to be real careful not to get caught up in a wreck, and just race the racetrack. Bristol is so tight and small, that it doesn't take long to go a lap down, or for the wrecks to start happening. You just never know with Bristol, I've had good cars there and finished terrible, and then had bad cars and finished well. Racing at Bristol is almost electric, there is so much energy packed into that little place, sometimes I don't know what is louder, the fans or the cars."
Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on Bristol: "I'll concur with Matt in regard to qualifying. Qualifying is real important at Bristol because of the pit road configuration. We need to be on the frontstretch this year if we want to better our chances of winning. The most important thing during the race at Bristol is to stay out of wrecks, and not cause any. Within the first 15 laps, leaders start to lap the field, so we need to get up front fast. We are taking car number 13, which is a brand new car. Bristol is going to be a great place to break it in."
Spotter Mike Calinoff's view from high above Bristol: "Bristol is about the biggest challenge on the circuit for a spotter. You've got 43 cars in a confined area bumping each other at a pretty quick pace. When our DEWALT car is on the top and he needs to get on the bottom, you have to really be precise in getting him in a hole -- because the bottom is quicker and the holes close fast. Another challenge at Bristol is that things happen in a hurry and you have to really be looking ahead and watching your car at the same time. If there is a wreck in turn one and your car is in turn three, you have to give him enough notice of what's going on and make sure he doesn't stop too quickly and get hit from behind. The final issue with Bristol is that the spotters are in turn three. So, we have to adjust being in a different place than on the frontstretch, where we normally are. As a spotter you have to constantly remind yourself that turn one is really not turn three when you are calling a wreck. I actually talk to myself for the first part of the race saying 'One, Two, Three, Four...' while I am spotting -- so that I can give the right information to Matt. Other than all of that, Bristol is a piece of cake."
Notes of Interest: Matt Kenseth will appear at the Food City Family Night in Kingsport, TN to sign autographs from 6-8 p.m.
Qualifying is set for the Winston Cup Series at 3:30 p.m. EST on Friday, March 23rd. The green flag will drop on the Food City 500 at 1:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 25th.