MATT KENSETH WINS NASCAR NATIONWIDE RACE AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY MATT KENSETH - No. 17 Arby's Ford Fusion - (finished 1st, started 10th) CONGRATULATIONS. TAKE US THROUGH THE RUN TODAY AND HOW THE RACE PLAYED OUT FOR YOU "Well, it played out...
MATT KENSETH WINS NASCAR NATIONWIDE RACE AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 Arby's Ford Fusion - (finished 1st, started 10th)
CONGRATULATIONS. TAKE US THROUGH THE RUN TODAY AND HOW THE RACE PLAYED OUT FOR YOU "Well, it played out perfect, obviously. Most of the day it was a little struggle. We were a little bit off and struggled it with a little be yesterday. Today we had to make a lot of changes and Drew made some good changes overnight and made it drive a lot better than what it was driving yesterday, I just said that because he walked in the door. He did make some good changes and we made a lot of adjustments today and got it as good as it needed to be at the end. We still could have been better, but it was good enough to get up through there."
TALK ABOUT PERFORMANCE TODAY AND THE NO. 17 CAR.
JACK ROUSH - TEAM OWNER - ROUSH FENWAY RACING: "It's my pleasure to be riding with Matt and with Drew. They've had a great day today. Obviously there was a car that wasn't there at the end that was a factor. It was his to lose, but you have to be running at the end of these races to win them. Carl Edwards did a nice job with his finish in fourth, I guess it worked out and of course Matt was the man of the hour. Drivers have their different personalities; Matt is, in my mind, at the top of his game. He's wise. He's experienced. He's seen all the bad things happening. He's experienced the good things. He knows how to close a deal when it's there for him today. He wouldn't have made it without Drew."
TALK ABOUT THE RACE THAT YOU CALLED.
H@!DREW BLICKENSDERFER - No. 17 Crew Chief: "We started the race worried about tires because we didn't have enough sets we thought to put on and we ended up okay. The cautions fell when we needed them to. We had a couple long runs. We had a car yesterday that was probably a 10th place car we thought. We made some changes overnight and just more than anything, Matt learned how to handle the tires on the COT car and our Busch car better than the other guys go."
ON THE GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED IT SEEMED LIKE HARVICK WAS RIGHT ON YOUR TAIL. WAS THERE ANY TIME YOU WERE CONCERNED THAT HE MIGHT HAVE GOTTEN TOO GOOD OF A RESTART ON THAT GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED?
MATT KENSETH: "We'll, yeah, probably until I got off of two and we took the white, I got a big run off of there. Until then, I was worried. These tires at this race track really presented a challenge this weekend. Actually, I enjoyed them on these cars. They took a lot of horsepower away from us this year, which everybody knows. If we would have had last year's tire, we probably could have run about wide open around here. But this tire you really had to handle a lot and it was important to get through the center and off the corners really fast, which made it a little bit more fun to drive. So, anyway with the tires being so hard, you could spin the tires even with these motors through second gear and even when you grab third, it's been just for a second. So, you just had to roll in slow and try to get going and not spin it real bad."
YOU HAD SIX SECOND PLACE FINISHES SINCE YOU WON A NATIONWIDE SERIES RACE. DID YOU EVER LET IT CROSS YOUR MIND 'HERE WE GO AGAIN?'
MATT KENSETH: "I guess I didn't think about our other finishes that way. It wasn't on my mind at all, but certainly you think about getting beat at the end. There's a few close races that we had last year in both series where we came up short at the end of the race. Certainly as a driver that's disappointing your crew, your owner and your engine. Everybody does there job to get you out front with just a short time left in race and you get beat, it's always disappointing. I really thought on the restart that we had about a 50-50 chance because Kevin was pretty fast. On the short run there was a couple of times where I could get around him or stay with him and then after about lap five, he would drive by me and leave me. I just didn't know with that short run. I thought if we could get through one and two real good and get a little start on him, we might have a shot at it."
DID YOU NEED THOSE CAUTIONS AT THE END OF THE RACE TO WIN?
MATT KENSETH: "I don't know. He [Kevin Harvick] got around Jeff [Burton] and I was quite a ways around Jeff, I guess. I know Kevin got around him and to be totally honest with you, I was concentrating on where I was going. I didn't really notice how fast Kevin was catching us or really where he was at before that caution with eight or seven to go or whatever it was, to be honest with you."
WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS MADE THE DIFFERENCE IN YOUR TEAM TURNING THE CORNER COMPARED TO LAST YEAR?
JACK ROUSH: "This business, you can't stay on top all the time. If you've got a good team and you're surrounded by good people, and if you do the right things and don't mess it up, then it will come back to you. We've been at the bottom of a couple of cycles here and there have been some frustration that went with that. There has been frustration among the drivers and frustration among the people that work on the cars. Right now, we've maintained our civility and tranquility. I see Carl and Matt having fun together. They're laughing, they're picking, and they're joking. Greg Biffle is in the middle of that. Everybody is in a good mood right now. It's easy to be in a good mood when you're on top. I think that a number of the drivers learn things, I'm going to say that I think that Carl learned something last that will help him in his relationship with the other drivers on the team this year. We're all good people and we try real hard and when things go bad, there's frustration. It's just tough to deal with that. I think that right now it's real easy for us to be happy about what's going on. The cars are all running so good. I think that will hold. When we have bad times, which will inevitably come."
-credit: ford racing