MATT KENSETH -17-Pennzoil Platinum Ford Fusion (Finished 2nd) "It was good. I thought we probably had the best car overall all day. Kevin was a little better on long runs, it seemed like, when he ran on top he would catch me a little bit, but...
MATT KENSETH -17-Pennzoil Platinum Ford Fusion (Finished 2nd)
"It was good. I thought we probably had the best car overall all day. Kevin was a little better on long runs, it seemed like, when he ran on top he would catch me a little bit, but for 20 or 30 laps we could get away pretty good and got behind a little just a little bit that last pit stop. It was only one car, but with all of them short runs and all of them cautions at the end, we just couldn't get back around Kevin."
"We were going to get four tires pretty much no matter what. Jimmy Fennig (crew chief) told me what was going on and I said it sounded like we needed four and he agreed, and we just did that. I think as much as they dropped off, they were really good for 25 laps, and we could run pretty good, especially with all of the short cautions at the end. It probably wouldn't have mattered as much, but on a long run we would slow down a second to a second and a half, so I think the tires dropped off here a lot more than they have in the past. I think you had to have tires with that many laps."
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING TODAY FOR TOMORROW?
YOU AND KEVIN HAVE BEEN BATTLING HARD IN BOTH SERIES THE PAST FEW WEEKS.
"Well, it's been fun. It's fun to be racing a guy that's winning all of the races. That's the good thing. Kevin has been killing the Busch Series this year and is a contender to win every week, so it's been fun. The Childress Busch cars, I think, have been the class of the field all year long. I don't think even guys coming doing one-off races or partial schedules or full-time schedules, I don't think anybody can run with the Childress cars this year on a consistent basis. I've been pretty much surrounded by them guys. Last week, I was right in between them, and Clint was behind me on the last restart and I don't know what happened to him. They run really good, and we have our stuff about as good as I knew how to make it today and we still got beat. I think if we would have been in front, we could have held them off, but in the past when I had a car that drove that good in the Busch Series - that felt that good - we could drive away and win the race a lot easier than what we could today. He's hard to beat. Those Busch cars that they've got over there, and their Cup cars now, are really tough."
"Well, my cars are driving a fair amount different. A couple of years ago, we could run a lot of the same setups, and stuff back and forth, but I think with the Busch cars with the big spoilers on them and the Cup cars with the little spoilers now, and the engines being 100 to 150 horsepower apart and the wheelbase being different, I think they are enough different that I haven't been able to use the same stuff. You run some laps on the track and see what the groove is going to do and the tires are going to do and get more acclimated to the track, not being able to test and not being here for 12 months, but other than that I can't learn anything from that car and apply it to my car for tomorrow. It doesn't seem to be working this year."
"A full fuel run, I thought Kevin was maybe a little better at the end of the run, but we could get away so far in the beginning of the run. When you're using the whole track and you've got all of the air, your car works good. On those short runs, and especially in these Busch cars - it's not as bad in the Cup cars - but the Busch cars have such big spoilers and they're slightly underpowered compared to the Cup car, and it's really hard to slip the tires at all for 10 laps. The good tires and the big spoiler and all of that stuff kinda covers up a bad-handling car, or doesn't help the best-handling car until the tires start wearing off. What I was probably talking about, for 10 laps if somebody had new tires it was really hard to pass them because we were all in the gas really hard through the corners. But as their tires started to slip, if your car was handling better than theirs you could make a move and get a run on them and pass them."
"Well, I think he was pretty good anyway. That one real long run that we had, he got right to my bumper and made up a couple seconds running the top side, so I think he had a pretty good car anyway. Putting the car in the front compared to even being second or third improves everybody's car a lot, especially on new tires. The track is wide enough that if we could have got the tires wore down a little bit and the pace backed up a half of a second, you could have looked around for another groove and maybe made a run on him, maybe not, but maybe tried something. On new tires, you just had to run the bottom and run real hard. New tires are kind of like new asphalt - you just pick the shortest way around and there's a lot of stick. I don't know that he got his car that much better. I don't know that it was ever bad. He ran second or third all day and putting it in the front certainly didn't hurt it."
-credit: ford racing