BUSCH: Kenseth Daytona preview

* Matt Kenseth enters 2007 coming off the second best points finish of his career, only 57 points shy of his second Cup title. * A flat tire, which occurred just a few hundred yards from taking the green flag during his solo qualifying run in ...

* Matt Kenseth enters 2007 coming off the second best points finish of his career, only 57 points shy of his second Cup title.

* A flat tire, which occurred just a few hundred yards from taking the green flag during his solo qualifying run in 2006, had Kenseth slotted 57th out of 57 cars after qualifying.

* By finishing 42nd in the 2005 Daytona 500, Kenseth & the No. 17 DEWALT team snapped a 71 consecutive-race streak in which they had been inside the top 10 in the Championship Points Standings, dating back to the 2003 Daytona 500.

* Kenseth will pilot the No. 17 Arby's Ford Fusion on its maiden voyage on Saturday, Feb. 17 in the NBS race, the Orbitz 300.

Kenseth on racing at Daytona International Speedway:

"The Daytona 500 is the biggest race of the year for so many reasons. It has the most build up, it has the most prestige, definitely the most interest, and it pays far more than any other race. We've had our share of disappointment in this race over the years, including last year, which was extremely frustrating because I really thought we had a car good enough to win. But, I always look forward to coming back.

"It's a pretty cool qualifying format with the Gatorade Duel. That race improved our starting spot tremendously last season because we had a flat tire about 200 yards before we took the green flag on our solo qualifying run, and that put us qualifying dead last before the Duel.

"Plate racing is always a crap shoot, because at the end of the race there's only so much you can do and you rely on everyone else to help you. It seems lately we've had a car capable of winning these races but we haven't gotten the help we need at the end. I know the car we're bringing is going to be a good one, if we can avoid the wrecks and have some things fall the right way for us at the end, we should be in position to compete for the win."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Daytona International Speedway:

"It's always refreshing to get back to Daytona. This is the start of the new year and our goals really haven't changed. I expect this team to be a championship caliber team and to compete for the title and compete for wins every week.

"We're bringing the same car we brought last year to Daytona for both races and it ran really well both times. Matt likes the way it handles and it was our strongest car during the test for sure. We built a brand new car hoping to find some more speed but wasn't able to do so. That's the bad news. The good news is that the car we had before, that we're bringing back, is still fast and so we should be okay.

"We'll approach this race the way we approach every plate race. Once the race begins, there's only so much we can control, but we have to make sure we hold up our end on pit road, and don't lose track position. One slip on pit road could cost you three seconds on the track, which could cause you to lose the draft, which could end your day. So, we have to be mistake free on pit road and keep the track position we have all day."

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Daytona International Speedway:

"It should be fun to get back in the Busch car on a plate race. I haven't ran in the Busch Series at Daytona since 2004, but we were always able to compete and we won this race back in 2000 with Robbie and Johnny R's team. It's going to be our first race with Arby's and hopefully we can have a great run with them on the car to kick off the year. The first race of the season is always exciting, and the fact we have a brand new sponsor will just increase the excitement. Plus, this team is on a win streak after winning the last two races of '06. Hopefully, we can keep that streak alive with a win at Daytona. I can't think of a better way to start the year."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Daytona International Speedway:

"We are taking a brand new car down to Daytona, this car tested well and hopefully we got it a faster. Speedway racing is about being around the front as the race is winding down. With Matt driving, and a little luck, we should run up front all day long and give the Arby's Ford Fusion a good finish."

-credit: rr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Johnny R