Phoenix: Matt Kenseth preview

No. 17 DEWALT Team Look to Shine Under Lights of Phoenix; After a strong outing and top-five finish at Texas, Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 team head out west for the first regular season night race of the season at Phoenix International ...

No. 17 DEWALT Team Look to Shine Under Lights of Phoenix; After a strong outing and top-five finish at Texas, Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 team head out west for the first regular season night race of the season at Phoenix International Raceway.

KENSETH AT PHOENIX

This will be Kenseth's 14th start at Phoenix International Raceway, where he has five top-five

finishes, six top-10's and a victory in 2002. In addition, he has one win in the Nationwide Series at PIR, from the pole in 2006, when he started up front and led 125 of 203 laps.

LEADING THE PACK

Ninety-three of Kenseth's 154 laps led at Phoenix came in the fall race of 2007, where he finished third.In fact, 148 of the 154 laps came in two of the 13 starts (55 in his 2002 win there.)

KENSETH, BLICKENSDERFER LOOK TO CLOSE DEAL

While this is their first Sprint Cup effort together, Kenseth and first year crew chief Drew Blickensderfer have quite a history together at Phoenix, where they finished second together in both Nationwide races in 2007. In fact, Kenseth lead in both events and had the lead in each race with less than 50 laps to go.

MATT KENSETH:

"I enjoy the track at Phoenix. It can be challenging, but we have had success there over the years. We had a tough year there last year, so we'll have our work cut out for us making sure that we get the car competitive.

"We had a strong run last race at Texas, where we were able to fight back from a couple of set backs and still get a top-five finish. The team needed something good to happen and we'll look to continue that this weekend in Phoenix. I know that Drew (Blickensderfer) and everyone on the No. 17 DEWALT team is committed to running up front and winning more races this season, as we are looking forward to the next few weeks."

DREW BLICKENSDERFER:

"Phoenix is a challenging track. The two ends of the track have different sized corners and different degrees of banking, so chassis set up is very important. The car will not be able to be great at both ends so you need to decide what end of the track is costing you the most difficulty and try to get it better there, without hurting the other end.

"Matt runs very well at Phoenix. Track position is important towards the end of the race, so we have to stay on our toes as far as strategy with how it all comes down in the end. I finished second with him in both Nationwide races in 2007 there, so hopefully we can close the deal this weekend."

FAST FACTS

* Kenseth has one win (2002), five top-five and six top-10 finishes in 13 races at Phoenix.

* Kenseth led 154 laps in Cup action at Phoenix, including 93 in the fall of 2007.

* Kenseth made his 300th Cup start last April at Phoenix.

* Kenseth's five top-five finishes at Phoenix are the sixth most in the track's history.

* Kenseth is currently ninth in the Sprint Cup point standings.

-credit: rfr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth