BUSCH: Charlotte II: Matt Kenseth preview

FAST FACTS * Matt Kenseth has scored four career victories at Lowe's Motor Speedway; 2000 Coca-Cola 600, 2004 All-Star Race, and two Busch Series wins. * Kenseth's No. 17 Ford will don a special paint scheme this weekend; the Carhartt for...


* Matt Kenseth has scored four career victories at Lowe's Motor Speedway; 2000 Coca-Cola 600, 2004 All-Star Race, and two Busch Series wins.

* Kenseth's No. 17 Ford will don a special paint scheme this weekend; the Carhartt for Women scheme will help kick off Carhartt's first ever line of women's apparel this fall.

* Kenseth has an average start of 21.6 during the Chase at LMS; ranking eighth among all Chase tracks.

* Kenseth's average finish during the Chase at LMS is 17.0; ranking seventh among all Chase tracks.

* "Hard times, hard times, come again no more" -- Kenseth and the No. 17 team are experiencing an uncanny string of bad luck in the past three weeks, suffering a mechanical failure at Dover while leading three weeks ago, then getting caught up in wrecks the past two weeks at Kansas and Talladega, resulting in finishes of 35th, 35th, and 26th respectively. The last time Kenseth finished three consecutive Cup races 26th or worse was September of 2001, Richmond, Dover, and Kansas.

NNCS quotes:

Kenseth on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"I've always enjoyed racing at Charlotte. It's a fast racetrack that's pretty unique and demands a good handling racecar. Sometimes we've haven't had the best of luck there, but other times we have. We've been able to run pretty good there from time to time and the fact we won our first Cup race there will always make that place special to me.

"Speaking of luck, we haven't had much lately. This Chase has been pretty frustrating for sure, because our cars have been the best they've been all year, but we have little to show for it. It's the complete opposite of last year's Chase when our cars weren't that good, but we stayed out of trouble and would finish about 12th or 15th. A lot of other people had problems last year and if we would've been just a little better on car performance we could have won it all. But, this year, we can't seem to finish a race.

"Talladega was typical Talladega. Every time we go there, no matter what package we're running, we always have a big wreck that takes out a bunch of cars. We had been fortunate for the past couple of years not to be in one of those, but last Sunday we weren't as fortunate. But, there's nothing we can do about that. All we can do is worry about Saturday night and try to get this really cool paint scheme up front and hopefully a finish that's representative of how we've been running."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We're taking the same car we ran early in the year a lot and it actually started off with a win and four top fives, three of which came at intermediate tracks like Charlotte. Hopefully, it will be as good on Saturday and we can stay up front and compete for a win.

"This team has worked extremely hard this season to improve on these cars and get them to the point where we can compete. We've gotten to that point the last few weeks, but we don't have anything but a couple of torn-up racecars to show for it. But, we can't focus on the past. We have to be prepared for Saturday night and I know we will be. This team has too much pride to let the last few weeks get them down, and I'm pretty sure we'll bounce back strong on Saturday."

NBS quotes:

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"It's always fun to race at Charlotte. Not only is it pretty much in our backyard, but I've also had some success here. This is the race last year where you saw what happens when someone tries to go faster than the car is capable of going. I was going for the win coming off of four and the car just got away from me. Hopefully, we'll be in position to win again, like last year, except this time, we'll get a little better results. We've had a bunch of good runs lately; we just haven't been able to pull off a win. Racing in our hometown in front of family and friends is a great motivator, if we can get some good pit stops we should be able to contend for the win."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We had a little break and are ready to get back racing after our off weekend. The time off gave us a chance to turn around our Kansas car and get it ready for Charlotte. This car ran really well at Kansas and almost pulled off the win. Hopefully we can get the No. 17 iLevel Ford Fusion back up front this weekend and get the win we missed out on in Kansas."

-credit: rfr

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Drivers Matt Kenseth