Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Fluidmaster Ford Fusion, comes into this weekend’s race fifth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. He held his weekly press conference before today’s practice to talk about what lies ahead at tracks like Talladega and Martinsville.
DO YOU EXPECT THE RACING TO BE ANY DIFFERENT NEXT WEEK AT TALLADEGA? “I don’t expect it to be a lot different. You might not be able to stay hooked together quite as long, but the cars are so much faster hooked together that you’re still gonna do that and you just might have to switch more or stay offset more to get some air, but I don’t foresee it being much different."
DO YOU CONSIDER THE TWO-CAR DRAFT REAL RACING? “It’s something that we have to do. I guess you could argue that all restrictor plate racing isn’t the same as what we do all the time, so you always have less control over your own destiny and you can’t really do anything by yourself. It’s different. I wish there was a way to do it different, and I’m sure they’re probably gonna figure that out eventually with the rules, but it’s just the way you have to do it right now. It’s kind of weird doing a team race because you can’t do it by yourself. If you win or finish second, you know the other guy was just as responsible for your finish as you were in a way, so it’s definitely different."
WHAT IF THEY MADE A RESTRICTOR PLATE RACE THE LAST RACE IN THE CHASE? “We’d race it. What’s the difference if it’s the fifth race or the last race of the Chase. They all pay the same. It doesn’t make any difference because each point is just as important."
YOU’VE SAID DOVER IS YOUR FAVORITE TRACK. WHERE DOES MARTINSVILLE FALL? “Below that somewhere (laughing). Martinsville has always been one of my least favorites. I actually like the track. If I was a fan, it would be one of my top five or six that I would probably pick out to go watch. I think the racing is really exciting, it’s just that the track for me personally has been more frustrating than some other tracks. I probably don’t use my head as much there as I would at other tracks. I lose my cool easier or whatever, but it’s been one of those places that has been mentally tough on me more so than other tracks. It seems I get run into a lot and sometimes you run into people and I don’t really like doing either, so when that happens sometimes it’s easy to get aggravated. But I will say that it’s been a lot better for us lately. The last couple of times we’ve been there we’ve been pretty competitive."
IS IT AS MENTALLY TAXING AS TALLADEGA? “It’s totally different. They’re both mentally challenging in their own way, but they’re night and day. It’s totally different.”