Kenseth on racing at Infineon Raceway: "For the longest time I really dreaded coming to a road course, but I guess it's kind of like anything else, the more you do it, the more comfortable you feel, and I don't dread it nearly as much as I use...
Kenseth on racing at Infineon Raceway:
"For the longest time I really dreaded coming to a road course, but I guess it's kind of like anything else, the more you do it, the more comfortable you feel, and I don't dread it nearly as much as I use to. We've gotten a little better with our road-course program, but more importantly, I think I've got a better feel for that type of racing as I get more experience.
"The biggest challenge for me is being able to tell Robbie (Reiser) and Chip (Bolin, engineer) how to make the car better. I'd say that's one of our strengths most of the time, being able to adjust the racecar and keep getting it better. But, for me, it seems a little bit harder on road courses.
"The main thing is track position. We need a good qualifying effort, which, ironically, Sonoma seems to be one of our best tracks in terms of qualifying, which, come to think of it, is kind of backwards from how we are on the ovals. But, this is probably the best I've ever felt about our chances at a road course this weekend. Hopefully, we can get a good qualifying spot and keep our track position all day and maybe end up with a top 10."
Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Infineon Raceway:
"Everyone will be taking a brand new car this weekend and, while I'm sure most people have tested theirs, it should be interesting on Friday. My thinking is that the same guys that usually run good on road courses will continue to do so, while those that struggle will continue to struggle. I don't think the new car is going to make that big of a difference where someone who usually runs about mid pack is suddenly going to compete for a win out there. That's not going to happen.
"It's all about track position when it comes to road courses. We need a good qualifying position and then it usually comes down to pit strategy and solid stops. Everyone works the pit strategy on road courses backwards, meaning that they figure how many laps they can make on a fuel run and then count the laps backwards from the end to determine the soonest the can pit in order to stay in their window and make it to the end on fuel. The last thing you want to do is have to pit in the last 10 or 15 laps and lose 20 or 30 positions, because there's always a lot of cars on the lead lap and passing is so hard, there's no way you're going to be able to make it up."