MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 3rd) Press Conference. DID YOU THINK JUNIOR WAS THE MAN TO BEAT? "I felt his car was about the same as it's been the last three years - it's been about half-a-second faster than us. He...
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 3rd) Press Conference.
DID YOU THINK JUNIOR WAS THE MAN TO BEAT? "I felt his car was about the same as it's been the last three years - it's been about half-a-second faster than us. He was pretty strong. I knew that right away. It's the best DEWALT car we've ever had since I've been at Roush at a speedway by far. We were fairly competitive and I was happy with that, but when Junior wanted to go he could really go. There was one time there were three of us on the bottom and he just went by us on the outside by himself. He was pretty stout again. They've got something figured out. They do their homework and now we've got to work a little harder to get caught up to them."
WHAT ABOUT THE FORMAT AND RUNNING THE RACE AT NIGHT? "I thought it was exciting. It's always nice to have the break to work on the little things they do let us work on. We can make a few changes and work on our car a little bit, but I thought it was exciting. I thought being at night the track had a lot of grip and all three lanes were pretty fast. That made for some pretty intense racing for us, but it probably made for a good show for the fans."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE BATTLE DOWN THE STRETCH? "What really happened there was Jimmie Johnson and I didn't get out of the pits very good. We were so far behind the pack and, amazingly enough, the two of us could run eight-tenths of a second faster than the field, so it was kind of cool. When we caught the field, we were catching 'em so fast that you could just kind of scan and pick a hole. We had so much momentum, I bet you we got by four rows of cars in two laps because we had so much momentum coming from behind. Jimmie started pushing me and there was nowhere to run except way up against the wall, so we just went up to the third groove against the wall and got hooked up with Schrader. It was pretty exciting. I hit Schrader as hard as I could hit him and then as soon as I was done hitting him, Jimmie would hit me as hard as he could hit me.
"We kept pushing each other up there and then I think with two to go, Jimmie hung a left and went in the middle three-wide under me. It was just me and Schrader and we couldn't make very good headway. I think Ward got behind me and gave me a push and I got outside of Schrader. I just barely squeezed outside of him and made a run through three and four of the last lap to pick up the last couple of spots."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE AERO PACKAGE? "If we're just talking about Daytona and not the rest of the year because we haven't run any open races, I think for Daytona the good thing about it is I think it's taken away 95 percent of the cheating. It used to be that everybody would roll their spoilers down as much as they could and everybody would cheat the templates as much as they could, so the cars are still as even as they were before, but now you know everybody is legal. You don't have to worry about trying to cheat all the little things as much as you can. They've got a lot of templates and did a lot of teching, so you go out there and feel pretty good that everybody is on an even playing field even more so than before."