Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus, blew an engine during Saturday morning's first practice session. Kenseth, who won the pole for tomorrow's event, will now have to drop to the rear of the field. MATT KENSETH --17-- ...
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus, blew an engine during Saturday morning's first practice session. Kenseth, who won the pole for tomorrow's event, will now have to drop to the rear of the field.
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus
WHAT EMOTION DO YOU GET HIT WITH WHEN SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS? "I don't know, we just have more work to do I guess. There's nothing I can do about it. You just have to take it and make the best of the situation and hope you can still get to the front."
IT'S HAPPENED A COUPLE OF TIMES THIS YEAR WHERE GUYS HAVE HAD TO CHANGE MOTORS AND THEN HAVE WON FROM THE BACK. DOES THIS CHANGE YOUR OUTLOOK ON THE RACE? "No, but in the position that we were in - that's our first pole and you look forward to trying to lead laps right away and get points that way. You want to stay up front and stay out of the trouble, so it's a little frustrating in that sense. I guess that's the third or fourth time we've had to start in the back because of an engine failure before the race started. That's the bad side of it, but the good side of it is it happened today instead of tomorrow. Hopefully, we'll make it the whole 400 miles tomorrow and not have a problem."
DOES YOUR MINDSET CHANGE NOW? "You just race like you're used to racing. I'm used to starting in the back. You just pass them as you catch them and, hopefully, there's not a wreck and you get caught up in it. I can rely on my pit crew, like I do every week, to gain me some spots and, hopefully, by the second or third run we'll be up with the leaders and we can go from there."
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus
YOU'VE COME FROM THE BACK BEFORE HERE. "Yeah. Everytime I come to Dover we end up starting in the back. I had the pole here with the truck series two years ago and had some bad misfortune in happy hour. We had to pull out the back-up truck and race it from the back and ended up winning the race. My first time here in a Cup car we qualified 10th, but the pack went right by me because I had no idea what this Winston Cup stuff was about. So we immediately went to the back and then worked our way to the front. Last year, we took two provisionals to get in the shows here and worked our way to the front. Here it is again - we'll be starting in the back and working our way to the front, so that's the only way I know how to race this place is passing cars and conserving right-front tires."
SO WHAT'S THE SECRET TO WORKING YOUR WAY THROUGH THE FIELD HERE? "The secret is to know when there's gonna be an accident in front of you so you can check up. The thing is you want to make sure you have room behind you, but the biggest chassis thing you can do is keep the car on the bottom of the race track. You want to keep it freed up to protect that right-front tire so that you can roll through the middle of the corner on lap 50 of a run and lap 200 of the race."
WILL A GOOD PIT STALL HELP? "Yeah, it will help later on once we get there. But when we're in the back and everybody else is already done with their stops, we're gonna be coming in as they're coming out. There's one pit road here and it's really congested. There aren't many lanes to move around in, so it's gonna be a bit of a hassle in the beginning when we're not up to the point of running with those guys. They're going to be pulling out while we're pulling in and that's chaos for the crew guys and for saving your fenders. We'll work around that though. We know we've got that obstacle to overcome, but it's just one thing after another. That's a tough break for my teammate because now he's not even going to get to race off the pole. Now we've got Matt back there and Newman back there and Jeff Burton starting somewhere back there too, so there are gonna be a lot of fast cars in the back making their way to the front. That will put a whole new spin on things because you won't be able to just go and pass those guys. They're gonna be right there with you."