Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion, brings a streak of four straight top-five finishes at Dover into the Autism Speaks 400 this weekend. Kenseth, who also won the 2006 spring race, took time to talk about what it takes to...
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion, brings a streak of four straight top-five finishes at Dover into the Autism Speaks 400 this weekend. Kenseth, who also won the 2006 spring race, took time to talk about what it takes to be successful at the Monster Mile and the importance of winning races and running in the front of the pack.
YOUR THOUGHTS ON DOVER? "I always love coming to Dover. It is probably my favorite track to come to. Our performance is usually better here than the rest of the tracks. It always gives us a confidence boost to get here and get out on the track."
IT HAS BEEN A FEW RACES NOW SINCE THE WING AND SPOILER SWITCH, WHICH DO YOU LIKE BETTER? "I like it better like this. I think if nothing else it looks better. It doesn't seem like it really made a huge change balance wise. I think NASCAR really did their homework to make sure the car had the same aero balance as before. I don't think it has been a huge change, there has been some change, but not a real big deal."
YOU ARE FIFTH IN POINTS BUT YOU HAVEN'T WON A RACE OR LED A LOT OF LAPS, WOULD IT BE A SURPRISE FOR YOU GUYS TO COME OUT AND CONTEND FOR A WIN HERE ON SUNDAY? "It would probably be a little bit of a surprise. I wouldn't be shocked though. There have been races this year where we performed well enough to win. We finished second in Atlanta and we were second or third on that last restart at Martinsville. In Vegas I think Jeff and Jimmie had better cars but we ran second or third there all day. We have had the cars capable of winning in the right circumstance so I wouldn't be shocked because we have been right there. This is one of our better tracks, if there is a track we have a shot at it would be this one."
IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU, GREG, CARL AND THE OTHER GUYS TO GET WINS EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE FIFTH IN POINTS? "I can't really speak for those guys, I can only speak for myself and my team. To me it is important to win, but more than that if this makes sense, it is important to put yourself in position to win and be up leading laps. If you look at Jeff Gordon's year, I don't think he has won yet but he has led like 800 laps and has been in position every week. It is just a matter of time until he wins. You always want to win every week, but more so for me it is important to have the performance of the car and the team, everybody involved, to be a contender to win. If we are up there leading laps and in contention, eventually we will win. It is important for me to get out performance up to a championship level."
10 RACES IN WITH TODD ON THE PIT BOX, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE CHEMESTRY AND BONDING WITH TODD PARROTT? "It has been good. Like any new relationship there is a learning curve and ups and downs. You learn what you like and dislike about each other. I am sure he wishes we were doing better. I wish we were doing better, but it has been a positive change. It has certainly brought us some experience and leadership to the team which has been good. It is a long season and whenever there is a change it is exciting and starts off good. What we have to do is keep that going through the rest of the season. Todd and Chip really get along well and are doing a good job of figuring out what we need in the cars and taking care of that end. It has been good."
WE HAVE HAD SOME PRETTY EXCITING FINISHES WITH THE NEW GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED FORMAT. HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT WITH RESPECT TO WHERE YOU WANT TO POSITION YOURSELF AT A TRACK LIKE DOVER. "Yeah, there have been some exciting finishes and there have been some wrecks. I wish we didn't finish like that. I wish we had 20 or 30 lap runs at the end. Sometimes as a driver I guess I wish it didn't come down to a two-lap shootout when you have been racing for three or four hours. It seems like more often than not there is a caution toward the end and we have those restarts. It changes the strategy and makes it tougher on everybody to figure out everything that comes with that. We have to concentrate on short runs much more than we used to. We have to work on all that stuff a lot harder than we used to because it seems like more times than not it comes down to that."
-source: ford racing