Fontana II: Matt Kenseth preview

Kenseth Looks to Repeat at California Kenseth and the No. 17 team return to California Speedway where they led 84 laps and took the checkered flag first during the spring. One of his most successful tracks on the circuit, the veteran will look...

Kenseth Looks to Repeat at California

Kenseth and the No. 17 team return to California Speedway where they led 84 laps and took the checkered flag first during the spring. One of his most successful tracks on the circuit, the veteran will look for a strong performance at the 2-mile track this weekend.

AT CALIFORNIA

This will be Kenseth's 16th start at California Speedway, where he has enjoyed phenomenal success. His three wins tie for the track record and his 11 top-five finishes are the most in track history. In addition he boasts the third most top-five finishes and he has led 468 laps (third most) at the track. He has an average finish of ninth at California, dating back to the 2000 season, when he finished third in his first start at the track.

VICTORY LANE

Kenseth has three wins at California Speedway, making it one of his most successful tracks on the Sprint Cup circuit. The three wins tie Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon for the most in track history. In addition, he has four wins at California in the Nationwide Series, giving him seven NASCAR wins at the track.

POINTING IT OUT

Kenseth has scored the third most points (1525) in the last 10 races at California Speedway, the second most in the last five (856) and the most in the last two (355).

LAST TIME

Kenseth led 84 laps en route to his third victory at California. The win followed up his season opening victory in the Daytona 500, giving him back-to-back wins to open the 2009 season.

R+L GREEN ON BOARD

The No. 17 Ford Fusion will carry the green and gold colors of R+L carriers this weekend at California. It will be the final of four races this season with R+L Carriers as the primary on the No. 17 Ford. Kenseth has carried the R+L Carriers paint scheme 13 times since 2006. In his 13 previous starts in the No. 17 R+L Carriers Ford, Kenseth has achieved 13 top-16, 10 top-10, and four top-five finishes.

MATT KENSETH

"California has been one of our best tracks over the years and we always look forward to going out there and racing. It is a real big, wide track. You get a little bit of everything. You have a lot of speed, and you really go fast down the straightaways. It's got some pretty big corners where you can run around the bottom or you can run up high and you're always kind of searching for a groove, so the racing is always lot of fun. We had a win there to start the season and it's kind of been down from that, but we've had a lot better cars the last couple of weeks so hopefully we'll continue to build on that."

FAST FACTS

* Kenseth has three wins, seven top fives and 11 top 10 finishes in 15 starts at California.

* Kenseth has finished top 10 in the last eight at California and inside the top five in four of the last eight with two wins during that stretch.

* Kenseth won at California this spring, leading 84 laps along the way.

* Kenseth's 11 top 10 finishes at California are the most in track history.

* Kenseth's three wins at California tie for the most in track history.

* Kenseth had led a total of 468 laps in Sprint Cup action at California.

Last Year at this race...
8/31/08 - Started: 37th - Finished: 5th

Kenseth started 37th in the No. 17 R+L Carriers Ford Fusion. After an early caution, with little to lose and strategy in mind, Kenseth -- running in 31st place -- made his way down pit road. Crew chief Chip Bolin directed the No. 17 pit crew to change two right side tires and top off Kenseth's Ford with fuel. After the speedy stop, Kenseth returned to the track in 29th position on lap eight when green flag racing commenced.

Kenseth reported loose handling throughout the majority of the race and the No. 17 crew worked to correct the problem over a series of scheduled pit stops. Though the adjustments didn't seem to remedy the handling problems, Kenseth inched his way up the leader board with each stop. By lap 180, Kenseth was running 10th and reported that his R+L Carriers Ford was "getting better." With just 28 laps remaining in the race, Kenseth, in sixth place, made a final charge to the front. Despite having a fast race car, lapped traffic would hinder his advance past fifth place.

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth