That Winning Feeling - Matt Kenseth Recalls His First Wins CONCORD, NC (March 24, 2005) - Matt Kenseth's Roush Racing teammate Carl Edwards scored his first victories in the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Nextel Cup Series last...
That Winning Feeling - Matt Kenseth Recalls His First Wins
CONCORD, NC (March 24, 2005) - Matt Kenseth's Roush Racing teammate Carl Edwards scored his first victories in the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Nextel Cup Series last weekend in Atlanta. In light of these "firsts," we take a look back at Matt Kenseth's first wins in NASCAR Busch and Cup competition.
Matt Kenseth made his Busch Series debut in 1996, competing in one race that season at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The following year, Kenseth joined with current crew chief, Robbie Reiser, to run 21 out of 36 races in the 1997 Busch season. Kenseth scored two top-five finishes that year, and finished second in the rookie battle with just 21 starts. Kenseth's first win came in his first full season of competition in the Busch series in 1998.
In just the second race of the year, Matt Kenseth scored his first Busch Series win at Rockingham. "It is one of my fondest memories of my entire racing career. There's nothing like your first win. Having come up through the ranks in the smaller series, hoping to one day get to the big leagues, so to speak, it was just incredible," recalled Kenseth of that first Busch win. "To this day, Rockingham is one of my favorite tracks, and I hate that we don't race there anymore. I would love to go back," he added.
Matt Kenseth went on to win two more races in the Busch Series in 1998, and finished second to friend Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the championship point standings that year. To top off the year, Kenseth also ran his first Cup race at Dover Downs, where he posted an impressive sixth place finish.
After that initial foray into Cup competition at Dover, Kenseth launched his Cup career by running five races in the 1999 season and began his fulltime Cup career in 2000. Like in the Busch Series, Kenseth scored his first win in Cup in his first full season. The victory came locally, at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. "My first Cup win is definitely one of the greatest moments in my racing career. It really was the culmination, up to that point, of all that I had worked for and learned through the years. To be able to share that moment with Robbie [Reiser] and the guys, Jack [Roush] and my family, it was just incredible." Kenseth added, "I'm also proud that my first win was the Coca-Cola 600 which is the longest race of our season. It's a tough race that requires focus and stamina, and it's cool that we scored our first Cup win there."
Kenseth continued to experience success in the 2000 season, posting four top-five and eleven top-ten finishes and being named Rookie of the Year. Matt Kenseth has gone on, of course, to win many more races and eventually claim the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship. But those first wins will always hold a special place in the hearts and minds of Matt Kenseth and his fans.
Roush Racing is a subsidiary of Livonia, Mich., based Roush Industries that operates 10 motorsports teams; five in the NASCAR Nextel Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch, the 2004 Nextel Cup Champion, three in the Busch Series with Martin, Kenseth and Edwards, and two in the Craftsman Truck Series with drivers Todd Kluever and Ricky Craven.