Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, comes into this weekend with a nine-point lead over Jimmie Johnson in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings. Kenseth spoke about the chase and his team's mindset for tomorrow night's...
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, comes into this weekend with a nine-point lead over Jimmie Johnson in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings. Kenseth spoke about the chase and his team's mindset for tomorrow night's race after Friday's practice at Richmond.
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion
SHOULD VICTORIES BE WORTH MORE IN TERMS OF POINTS? "It doesn't really matter to me. You already get the most points for winning and leading the most laps, which I think is great. If it was more and you're the guy winning, that would be great. But it's still harder to run second than third and still harder to run third than fourth and so on and so forth. There are still 43 teams. In football and baseball it's one team against one team. In here, it's one team against 42 every week, so there's got to be a way to rank it. It doesn't matter to me. If it was more, that would be fine. If it's the same, that would be fine, too."
IF YOU AND JIMMIE BOTH FINISH 21ST OR WORSE, 11 GUYS COULD POSSIBLY GET IN. DO YOU FEEL ANY RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP IT AT 10? "No. Honestly, we're just taking it one week at a time like we always do and run the best we can. I think we've got a pretty good car here and I'm sure Jimmie will as well. Hopefully one of us will finish up there and keep it to 10. Obviously, you want to keep it to as few cars as you can if you're in it because there are less cars to beat you, but we're just gonna take it one race at a time and go out and do the best we can."
YOU GUYS PICKED UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF LAST YEAR, BUT SOME OF THE OTHER ROUSH TEAMS HAVEN'T. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU'RE DOING DIFFERENTLY? "I don't think so. Last year we didn't run as good as the rest of them and we weren't really doing anything different either. These days it's pretty technical. All of the cars are pretty close to the same rules-wise and everything. It's just a bunch of little things. Robbie did a great job over the winter building our cars and Chip did a good job of figuring out some stuff and we just got our stuff better over the winter."
DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE PSYCHOLOGICALLY TO BE LEADING THE POINTS AFTER THIS WEEKEND? "I don't know psychologically if it matters a lot, but certainly being the leader right now I'd like to keep that five points. I think every point is important. The first year the chase came down to the last lap of the last race, so I'd like to have every point we can."
DO YOU HAVE A GUESS AS TO WHAT MARK IS GOING TO DO? "I don't have any idea. I really don't. If I did, I would say, 'I know what he's going to do, but I can't tell you,' but I don't so I can't say that."
HOW DO YOU THINK HE WOULD FEEL IF HE DIDN'T MAKE THE CHASE IN HIS LAST CHANCE FOR A TITLE? "That would be something to ask him. I don't really know how he feels. I hope he makes the chase and I'm sure he is, but I think Mark would probably tell you that, more than making the chase, it's important for him to be competitive and have a shot at a championship. We were proof that you could make the chase and not be ready to win a championship. Just because you're in the top 10 doesn't mean that you're gonna win it, all it means is that you're starting over with 10 to go and you've got a shot if you can get your stuff running good."
IS IT LESS STRESSFUL BEING HERE AND KNOWING YOU'RE IN THE CHASE? "I don't know. It really hasn't been. I've been kind of stressed out all day trying to get our car working good, so if your car is working good and doing the things you want, I don't think it's that stressful. Last year wasn't stressful at all. My car came here and it was real fast right away and it wasn't bad. All of the stuff we could control, getting the car to handle and doing all that, we did a good job at but there are certain things you can't control and you don't know what's gonna happen. There's still stress. We want to go out of here leading the points if we can. We don't want to give that up. We don't want to break our momentum. We want to keep running good and be up front."
-credit: ford racing