Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, is 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings going into this weekend. He held his weekly Q&A session behind the team's transporter before practice. HOW DO YOU LIKE ...
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, is 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings going into this weekend. He held his weekly Q&A session behind the team's transporter before practice.
HOW DO YOU LIKE INFINEON? "It's alright, it's just something different. We don't do it very much. Out of the year that we run, we run only two road courses, which isn't very many, so it's always a place that's challenging to me. It's just totally opposite to what we usually do. It's all about pitting the race and track position and all that, but it's OK."
YOU STARTED THE YEAR OFF SO STRONG. AS A VETERAN DRIVER, IS IT EASIER TO DEAL WITH THE UPS AND DOWNS? "No, it doesn't make it any easier. You want to win every week and put in your best effort every week, so when you don't get the results it's always disappointing, but you still can't dwell too much on yesterday. You've got to move on to the next week and try to figure out how to do better."
WHAT ARE THE NUANCES OF THIS TRACK? "It's a challenge. When I first started it was more about not making a mistake and staying on course. You could bend up a car pretty easy or lose a lot of track position, and, of course, about gambling on pit road and pitting early in case there was a caution so you could get that track position. Today, these cars are a lot closer to the same speed and they're a lot more reliable. It doesn't seem like as many people make a mistake or break something or anything like that, so you've got to have your pit strategy right and have a good handling car. You can't make mistakes and you've got to run fast all day, too."
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO WATKINS GLEN? "It's a lot different than Watkins Glen. Watkins Glen drives a lot more like a speedway -- like a Michigan or something -- whereas this place drives a lot more like a short track -- like a Martinsville or a track like that -- so this track has a lot of slow-speed parts. It's real slippery and hard to get forward bit, that type of thing, whereas Watkins Glen is more about momentum and going fast."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR SPOT IN THE POINTS? "I don't feel very good about it. We were farther behind at this time last year, but, certainly, we've had a lot more opportunities this year to be a lot higher in the points and be in a lot more comfortable position than what we are. We're not comfortable by any means, being toward the top 12, so we really need to start getting the results and start getting our finishes."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, JEFF GORDON AND TONY STEWART ARE ALL UP FRONT. DOES THAT HAVE ANY IMPACT ON THE OTHER DRIVERS? THEY'RE LIKE THE ROCK STARS OF THIS SERIES. "I don't pay a lot of attention where everybody else is, to be honest with you. We've got our own problems to worry about, just trying to climb up there as high as we can. If you can win races and you can finish really good, you'll be up there in the points and we haven't been able to do that lately. So we need to get the results. I don't really worry about necessarily what the competition is doing, we just try to get running the best that we can."
WILL YOU DO ANYTHING FUN HERE THIS WEEKEND? "No, not really. I don't really have any plans. Tomorrow, we might go get a tour of San Quentin and check that out. I don't know if it will be fun, but it'll be interesting (laughing), so, other than that, I don't have any plans."
DO YOU TYPICALLY LOOK FORWARD TO THIS STOP? "Yeah, especially when I first came out here. I enjoyed seeing San Francisco and had never traveled out here before, and seeing Alcatraz and my wife always enjoys coming out and hanging out with her friends and going wine tasting and seeing some of the wineries and all that kind of stuff, but I don't really do much extra when I get here. I enjoy Northern California, but I just come out here and get ready to race."
-credit: ford racing