Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, spoke about this weekend's race following Friday's practice session. MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion WHAT KIND OF RACE WILL YOU RACE THIS WEEKEND BECAUSE NOT MANY OF THE TOP FIVE...
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, spoke about this weekend's race following Friday's practice session.
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion
WHAT KIND OF RACE WILL YOU RACE THIS WEEKEND BECAUSE NOT MANY OF THE TOP FIVE GUYS IN POINTS HAVE DONE THAT WELL HERE?
"You try to race the same as every week. You try to run competitively and run hard and try to get the best finish you can get, but there is your own set of challenges here. Sometimes you are your own worst enemy. You have to race the track and your car more so than your competitors and pit strategy is real important, so it's kind of one of those races where you've got to do everything right -- stay out of trouble, call the race right so you don't get bad track position and do a lot of that stuff. Last year we ran really good and got beat a little bit on fuel mileage and finished 11th, so it wasn't terrible. Hopefully we can improve on that."
HOW IS THE TRACK WITH THE HEAT AND ALL -- IS IT SLIPPERY? "Yeah, in general the hotter it gets, the more slipperier the surface will get, so it's definitely slick out there today. We only run here once a year and can't test anyway, so it's the same for everybody."
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR SUNDAY WITH THE HEAT? "Just stay hydrated and try to get some rest. Our car has been pretty comfortable. Even though it's a relatively short race, it's usually one of the more physically demanding races. For me, I'm not real comfortable at road courses. I'm maybe a little more intense and it gets real hot here with the braking and all that stuff."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SUNDAY? "It's definitely not one of my best places. I think every time you come back you get more experience and you probably feel a little bit more comfortable and hopefully do a little bit better job, but as hard as it is sometimes for me to maybe drive the car -- when we get the cars right, we can usually run pretty fast, it's just hard for me to know exactly what to put in the car here. When the car is doing something, I tell them what it's doing, but it's hard for me to tell them what to do to fix it a lot of times, so that's probably what we struggle with more than anything."
HAVE YOU DONE THE BONDURANT THING BEFORE? "I did a school the first time I came, but the cars and everything are so different. We've been to the track enough, I know where all the corners are so I think that Bondurant school gives you some good advice and it gives you a guy teaching you a little bit, but you've still got to get in your own car and be able to drive it with your own setup and all that."
WHAT'S THE HARDEST PART ABOUT THIS TRACK? "The whole thing. I don't know. It's just small and hard to pass."
HOW MUCH DOES IT HELP HAVING SO MANY TEAMMATES TO SHARE INFORMATION? "I'd probably be able to tell you better Sunday night, but it's always important to be able to work together. Mark has always done really good at road course and Jamie has run real good at road courses. We all went to Road Atlanta and did some testing a couple weeks ago with Boris (Said) and hopefully some of the stuff we learned through all of the testing there will apply a little bit to here anyway."
DOES ATTITUDE HELP COMING TO A PLACE LIKE THIS? "I don't know. I've been to places before and said, 'Man, I don't like coming here. I don't think we'll run good.' And then I'd end up running good, and vice versa. I've been to places saying, 'Yeah, this is my favorite track. I can't wait to run here and get going,' and then end up having something go wrong or running like crap. I don't know that it matters. I think it's always important to have a good attitude and to put forth 100 percent effort at it, but you might not necessarily like something and still be able to do OK, or the other way around."
IT SEEMS YOUNG GUYS ARE TOLD TO BE SMOOTH OUT THERE AND THEN THEY GO TOO FAR WITH THAT. IS IT A FINE LINE? "I think the biggest thing is that the way we work on these cars at ovals is totally opposite of here. My hardest thing here is that we've cars, when we could figure out what we're doing we could run pretty quick, but when we're off I have a hard time figuring what to do to make it on."
PLUS RACE DAY STRATEGY IS KIND OF OPPOSITE. "Yeah, and we've been beat on fuel mileage and all that stuff here a couple of times, so hopefully a lot of times you don't have to have a great car and you can sneak out a good finish if you do the strategy just right and the cautions fall just right and you're getting the right mileage and all that kind of stuff. So, hopefully, we can do all that right."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT RACING IN CANADA? "It would be all right. It's always interesting to go somewhere new and race. It doesn't matter to me that much where we race. It's fun to travel and go to different parts of the country and go all over the place and see different areas, so I don't know where we'd race or much about it, but it would be all right."
IT COULD BE MONTREAL ON A ROAD COURSE IN THE BUSCH SERIES. WOULD YOU RACE THERE? "I don't know. A lot of that depends on sponsors and schedules and all that stuff. I'm not a big proponent of like what a lot of guys are doing this weekend with here and Milwaukee. I wouldn't go do that. That's way too much traveling. I would love to race Milwaukee, but I think that takes away too much from what I'm trying to here for me. So it depends on that. If it's a weekend where we could go do it -- like if it was an off weekend or something like that -- I'd probably think about trying to get something put together to do it."
DO GUYS SPEND MORE TIME ON ROAD COURSES NOW? "We tested the road courses every year while we were able to and this is the first year I think we haven't because we can't anymore with the new rules. I think we've always put a lot of effort into it -- building cars to try to build the best cars we build and we used to try and test when we could test although we can't anymore, so I think that we've always put a lot of effort into it."
WHAT SEPARATES DRIVERS HERE? "I think it's a little bit of everything. Obviously Tony (Stewart) and Jeff (Gordon) are two of the most talented guys on the road course, but they still have to be able to have the car to do it too. They've been able to get their stuff right. They're really good at it. They enjoy it and they run up front pretty much everywhere besides the road courses."