Homestead: Matt Kenseth preview

Matt Kenseth -- NSCS Advance Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion Crew Chief: Chip Bolin Chassis: RK-616; a brand new car Kenseth on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway: "Homestead is pretty cool. We were actually working on our Homestead stuff a...

Matt Kenseth -- NSCS Advance
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chip Bolin
Chassis: RK-616; a brand new car

Kenseth on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:

"Homestead is pretty cool. We were actually working on our Homestead stuff a few weeks ago and were trying to compare it to another track and you really can't. It's really unique with the way it's built right now and the way the banking is and the elevation changes and all that stuff, so it's pretty cool. They did a great job and spent the money and did the research and they weren't scared to go out on a limb and build it like no other track. I think the racing is really exciting there. There are a lot of different lanes you can look for. It's a lot of fun. It's the only track we have that's that big that is a true oval without the dogleg, and the backstretch being higher than the frontstretch, it makes all four corners a lot different, so it's a fun track I think the racing there is as good as anywhere now. I think all the drivers and teams and the fans, everybody loves going down there and it's a great event to have at the end of the year and to crown all the champions, so it's really unique.

"As the season comes to end, you can kind of sit back and reflect a little bit about things. And, I think with some of the changes with this car and changing our group around a little bit, I think it's been a fairly successful season. We made the Chase, which, in turn, gave us a chance to at least run for a championship, so there's that aspect of it.

But there's just one race left and we haven't been to Victory Lane yet, so that's very disappointing. We're out of the championship hunt, which is very disappointing, but there are certain things that happen that are out of your control, and things that happen that are in your control you try to look at and try to fix and try to do better the next time, and just keep trying to improve. We're always trying to improve and trying to get our cars better. We're always trying stuff, but we're not gonna try stuff that's gonna have a chance at dropping us out of races and taking us out of contention to win a race, or losing more points. We still want to finish as high as we possibly can in the points. We certainly want to get back to Victory Lane real bad and we're out there just trying to bring our best stuff and do the best we can."

Crew chief Chip Bolin on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:

"These guys have done one heck of a job the past four weeks, really throughout the whole Chase. Their performance has improved all year and especially during the Chase, we were just unfortunate to have some things go bad for us early on in the Chase, otherwise we'd be pretty close to contending for the championship. I'm proud of how this team stayed the course when so much went wrong, and we've been able to bounce back nicely because of their hard work and great attitude."

FAST FACTS

* Matt Kenseth will make his ninth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS) this weekend in the Ford 400.

* For the record...In eight starts at HMS, Kenseth has posted one win, two top-five and three top-10 finishes. Kenseth has completed 1854 of 2141 (86.6%) laps attempted at HMS.

* Kenseth has led a total of 214 laps at Homestead, all of which he led last year en route to victory in the Ford 400. The win was Kenseth's first at HMS and marked the final time the "old" cars were ever raced.

* Rewind PHOENIX... After enjoying three consecutive top-10 finishes, Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion team were looking forward to the race at Phoenix International Raceway. However, Kenseth and crew would be none-too excited for what Sunday's O'Reilly Checker's Auto Parts 500 would have in store for them. After relatively successful practice sessions, Kenseth and the No. 17 team were hopeful heading into Sunday's 312-lap event, although a less than stellar 34th-place starting position would have Kenseth starting near the rear of the pack. During Sunday's second-to-last NASCAR Sprint Cup race, the No. 17 team came face-to-face with trouble in the form of just about anything from handling issues, to a flat tire, and even a late-race accident. After spending much of the race a lap down to the leader, Kenseth earned the Lucky Dog Award on lap 284 and by day's end; the No. 17 DEWALT team had pulled off a 15th-place finish.

* In the LOOP... According to NASCAR's Loop Data acquired over the past three Ford 400's, Kenseth ranks first in average finish (3.3), laps led (214) and points obtained (510). He has a driver rating of 115.6, second best.

* The Chase is on... Heading into the Ford 400, Kenseth remains in eighth place in the Chase standings, 470 points behind the leader, Jimmie Johnson.

* On the track...The No. 17 DEWALT team will be unloading RK-616 this weekend at Homestead. This is a brand new Ford Fusion.

-credit: rfr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth