Michigan II: Earnhardt Jr - NASCAR spotlight

With 14 races left, 2003 championship points race is far from over Earnhardt Jr. makes Michigan fifth-fastest track DAYTONA BEACH, Florida, U.S.A. (August 14, 2003) -Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DeWalt Power Tools Ford) is trying to win the 2003...

With 14 races left, 2003 championship points race is far from over
Earnhardt Jr. makes Michigan fifth-fastest track

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida, U.S.A. (August 14, 2003) -Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DeWalt Power Tools Ford) is trying to win the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver championship, but to do so he must keep his 258-point lead intact with 14 races remaining. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series continues on August 17 at Michigan International Speedway.

The NASCAR Winston Cup Series has one of the longest season schedules in all of American professional sports - it begins in February and ends in November - and it's only recently passed the halfway mark. In other words, there are a lot of laps yet to be raced and plenty of championship points to be won or lost between now and November.

"I'm excited that we're in a good position to have a shot at [the championship], and that we've been running good enough to win races. We've only been able to win one race so far this year, but we've had ourselves in position to win a lot of races. It's always an exciting time when you're running good and you feel like you can go to the race track and have a chance to win," Kenseth said.

In the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, a driver can gain or lose as many as 151 points in a single race. For Kenseth, poor results could change his championship outlook dramatically. Last weekend, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet) trimmed 28 points from Kenseth's lead by finishing just five positions ahead of him.

So, Kenseth must steer his No. 17 DeWalt Power Tools Ford without any trouble for the next 4,753 laps - including stops at some of the series' most unforgiving race tracks: Bristol Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway.

"There is a lot of racing left. A couple of bad days and we could easily squander the lead that we have," Kenseth said.

"We've got to run hard every race and try to build on that lead and get it bigger. Our focus, especially at tracks like Michigan, where we've had some success, is to try and win the race.

"When we're at the race track, we're not trying to beat the No. 8 car or the No. 24 car. We want to go out and win races, run up front and try to beat everybody. That's our goal."

-nascar-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Matt Kenseth