Phoenix II: Matt Kenseth preview

Matt Kenseth -- NSCS ADVANCE Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion Crew Chief: Chip Bolin Chassis: RK-569 Raced Martinsville in March of this year. Started 28th and finished 30th. Also raced Dover in Sept. of this year. Started 8th and finished ...

Matt Kenseth -- NSCS ADVANCE
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chip Bolin
Chassis: RK-569 Raced Martinsville in March of this year. Started 28th and finished 30th. Also raced Dover in Sept. of this year. Started 8th and finished 2nd.

Kenseth on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:

"I was disappointed after Texas, but, looking back on it, we still qualified well and finished in the top 10. We ran in the top 10 most of the race, even though our car didn't handle all that well. I just feel like we're behind with this car. I'm not sure what the problem is, but I would like for us to be a little more consistent as a whole.

"Heading into Phoenix, I'm really not sure what to expect. I've always enjoyed racing at Phoenix and we've had some success there in the past, but our last race there was a huge disappointment and since then we've struggled a lot with our short track stuff. So, I'm not sure what to expect this weekend. Hopefully, we can figure something out and pull off a top-10 finish."

Crew Chief Chip Bolin on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:

"We're taking our Dover car to Phoenix this weekend. As far as Matt is concerned this is one of our best cars -- a car that responded well to our adjustments and seemed to suit his driving style. The trick to racing well this weekend will be working out the balancing act between being free enough to roll through the center of one and two, and not being too loose in three and four. If we can accomplish that, we should be very competitive."

FAST FACTS

*Matt Kenseth will make his 13th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Phoenix International Raceway in this Sunday's Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500.

*For the record...In 12 starts at Phoenix Kenseth has posted one win, five top-five and six top-10 finishes.

*Kenseth has completed 3260 of 3747 (87.0%) laps attempted at PIR -- he has led a total of 154 laps there.

*Rewind TEXAS... Heading into Sunday's Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion was optimistic and looking forward to racing at the 1.5-mile Texas track. Coming off of an impressive fourth-place finish at Atlanta, where Kenseth dominated much of the race, the No. 17 team was looking to build on that momentum and hopefully improve on that finish. Kenseth posted fast times during the weekend's practice sessions and qualified sixth, so it looked as though team 17 was well on their way to a strong run. However, from the drop of the green flag in Sunday's 334-lap event, Kenseth reported "loose" handling conditions with his No. 17 and despite the best efforts of the DEWALT team nothing seemed to remedy the handling problems. Kenseth wrestled with his Ford all day and ultimately brought home a hard fought ninth-place finish.

*The Chase is on...Kenseth's ninth-place finish at Texas improved his Chase standings from ninth to eighth. With just two races remaining in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Kenseth trails point leader Jimmie Johnson by 393 points. He is just 38 points ahead of 12th place.

*On the track...The No. 17 DEWALT team will be unloading RK-569 this weekend at Phoenix. Kenseth raced this car most notably at Dover in September this year. He qualified eighth, kept the No. 17 up front for a race-high 136 laps, but in the end, he was challenged by teammates, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards and came up just short of victory -- finishing in second place.

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Jimmie Johnson , Carl Edwards