Matt Kenseth has enjoyed the most success at Chicago of any Ford driver, posting a pair of runner-up finishes (2005 & 2007) and four top-10's since NASCAR came to the Windy City in 2001. Kenseth talked with members of the media Friday about his...
Matt Kenseth has enjoyed the most success at Chicago of any Ford driver, posting a pair of runner-up finishes (2005 & 2007) and four top-10's since NASCAR came to the Windy City in 2001. Kenseth talked with members of the media Friday about his recent struggles, possible changes to the Chase and more.
WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO ACCOMPLISH THIS WEEKEND AND THE NEXT FEW WEEKS? "Our goal is just to get running better and get into the Chase. We need to finish better and get into the Chase. That is what we are focusing on."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU GUYS ARE MAKING GAINS OR IS IT STILL A STRUGGLE FOR YOU? DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE WAY BEHIND, OR YOU ARE IMPROVING? "If you ask me today, I don't feel like we are making gains, I feel like we are going backwards. I think the No. 9 has run better, but the rest of us haven't improved very much, to be honest. Everybody else probably says we are improving, but I don't see it."
WHAT AREA DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU GUYS ARE STILL MISSING ON? "I don't know what is going on to be honest. I wish I had a better answer for you, I really do. We have had a lot of things change over the last couple of years, but I just don't really know what the answer is right now."
AS THE LAST 36-RACE CHAMPION, WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON POSSIBLE CHANGES TO THE CHASE NEXT YEAR? "I don't really have any thought on that right now. I guess I like it the way it was originally because of all the history. I don't think the Chase is bad right now. I guess it doesn't matter to me as long as at the end of the day, the best driver and team win it. I don't think the Chase has created a guy who didn't deserve to be champion or got lucky. The best car seems to be winning it. As a fan, that is what I like to see. No matter what sport it is, an individual thing or a team sport like football, I want to see the best team win it."
WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH ROBBIE REISER, WHAT IS HIS TAKE ON WHAT IS GOING ON SINCE HE IS THE DAY TO DAY FOREMAN? "I don't know and to be honest with you I don't think Robbie knows. He runs the place day to day and figures out production schedules and everything. He is busy doing all of that stuff. It isn't that he isn't involved in the competition part, I just think it would be hard for him to say what is wrong since he isn't at the track as much."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR SAVE ON TURN TWO AT DAYTONA LAST WEEK AND ALSO YOUR CHANCE TO RACE AGAINST YOUR SON ROSS THIS COMING SUNDAY? "I didn't see the save on TV to be honest with you. It was probably more luck than anything. I have enough trouble getting around the track lately. It was probably a little bit of everything, but for sure there was a good amount of luck involved there. I have had a chance to race against Ross a couple of times now and I really enjoy watching him race. It will be fun this weekend for sure and fun to see how he reacts to that race track because he doesn't have a lot of experience there. It should be a good time."
IN REGARDS TO THE CHASE AND THE BEST TEAM WINNING, DO YOU WORRY THAT ALL OF THIS TALK COULD LEAD THE SPORT INTO A DIFFERENT DIRECTION TO WHERE MAYBE SOMEBODY WINS A CHAMPIONSHIP ON A SHORT SPAN AND YOU DON'T GET THE BEST TEAM? "I don't really know what the exact idea is to be honest with you. We haven't had our NASCAR meeting yet and I haven't paid attention to the rumors. I don't know what the majority of people like to see, but when I watch I know what I like to see. That doesn't mean that is what the majority want or what would put more people in the stands. I think that a lot of the changes have gone toward the direction to make things more of a crap shoot. Compared to how it was when I started or grew up watching it has changed a lot. I can't believe that it would go back the other way. I would imagine they would try to make it tighter, but I really don't know because I haven't heard any ideas."
AS DISAPPOINTING AS YOU ARE WITH HOW YOU ARE RUNNING, YOU ARE STILL SEVENTH IN POINTS. ARE YOU CONCERNED YOU WON'T STAY THERE? "To me there is a concern. Last week we finished 15th but we wrecked and everybody else had a bigger wreck. We could have easily finished 40th last week. The last two or three races we have been able to improve our cars and get them better at the race track. There is hope we can make it better. I would just like to see some better results so that I can feel better about it. It is frustrating to go out and what I feel like is one of my best tracks in the past, this place, and run 38th in the first practice and 40th in the second practice. That is very frustrating. I don't feel like we are a last place team or I am a last place driver, so it is frustrating."
WHEN YOU ASK JACK FOR ANSWERS, WHAT DOES HE TELL YOU? "I think that if Jack had the answer, he would fix it. I don't think any of us have the answer right now. We all have our different ideas and theories. The people running the place don't like mine, so we will just keep going the way we are going and hope it gets better. They are doing things to try to move in the right direction and give us what we need to run better. Today, some of our cars were really fast. I don't buy into practice or even qualifying that much. I have to see it on Saturday night and see who finishes where. That will prove if we are headed in the right direction or not. A lot of our cars were faster at Michigan than they have been most of the year and today a lot of our cars have been pretty quick."
IN NEW HAMPSHIRE IT SEEMED LIKE YOU WERE REALLY RACING HARD TO STAY ON THE LEAD LAP. AS A PAST CHAMPION, HOW HARD IS THAT TO DEAL WITH? "I race as hard as I can race every week whether we are in 40th or 1st. You probably noticed it more at New Hampshire because I was in the way and aggravating everybody by trying to stay on the lead lap. When you are in our spot and sliding back in points, that is what you have to do. It was aggravating to them and to me, but we had to do that to keep where we were in the points to try to stay in the Chase."
-source: ford racing