Atlanta II: Kenseth post-race interview

MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Finished 4th) YOU'RE STILL THE POINTS LEADER. HOW DOES IT FEEL? "Alright. I'd feel better if we had more of a gap, but it feels good coming out of here the points leader. We got lucky with the...

MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Finished 4th)

YOU'RE STILL THE POINTS LEADER. HOW DOES IT FEEL?

"Alright. I'd feel better if we had more of a gap, but it feels good coming out of here the points leader. We got lucky with the rain as far as qualifying and then we ran really bad on Saturday and everybody did a good job -- Robbie and Chip and Greg and everybody putting their heads together to try to figure out what was wrong with our car and got it fixed. It drove pretty good today. I drove terrible all weekend, so we didn't have much to adjust off of so we just kind of put in what we had last spring and they made their best guess at it, so it feels good this week to be competitive. We didn't get any laps led, even though we started up front, but we ran in the top five most of the night -- top 10 at the worst -- and we at least could come close to running with them tonight. If we can fine-tune on that a little bit for the next few weeks, I think we'll be able to run with the 48 and those guys. That feels good because I feel like other people's trouble have kind of put us in the point lead, so it feels good tonight to be able to run with them and keep it."

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MOOD IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP?

"I'm probably 50-50. I'm more optimistic today than I was after last week. We haven't been really performing that good, except Dover and Talladega, and now we ran pretty good tonight, so I'm more optimistic right now than I was last week and ever yesterday as bad as we practiced. We ran pretty competitive. This guy (8), the 48 and the 20 ran better than we did most of the night, but if we had our car just right on certain runs we were capable of running top five, so that makes me feel good knowing we can tune on that some and hopefully get it better."

DID ANYBODY ASK YOU ABOUT THE ROLL BAR PADDING THAT GOT THROWN OUT?

"I don't know. I know what would be done if I threw it out. The caution, I guess, worked out OK for me, but it got Jeff Burton I know. I saw a piece of roll bar padding laying in the middle of the backstretch. I think that was a caution, so I don't know who threw it. That's the last thing I want to worry about."

WAS THE SUN A PROBLEM AS IT SET AND HOW DIFFERENT IS THE TRACK FROM DAY TO NIGHT?

"It wasn't a huge problem, but I'd like to get home a little earlier so I could see Sunday night football. The sun wasn't a big problem. You could see pretty good. There was a little bit of glare getting into one, but with the way the track is laid out it didn't seem to bother me much."

ARE YOU GLAD TONY ISN'T IN THE CHASE AND ARE YOU SURPRISED A GUY OUTSIDE THE CHASE IT OUTRUNNING GUYS IN THE CHASE?

"That's awesome. No, I'm not surprised that he does that. Tony is pretty much a threat to win at any kind of race track. He wins at road courses, Martinsville, superspeedways. He wins everywhere, so that's not really a surprise. He can show up and be one of the guys to beat every week."

-credit: Ford racing

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton