MATTT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 3rd) "It was a great day for us. The DeWalt Taurus was pretty fast all day, really. We just struggled getting track position. We made our way up through there early in the race. And, every...
MATTT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 3rd)
"It was a great day for us. The DeWalt Taurus was pretty fast all day, really. We just struggled getting track position. We made our way up through there early in the race. And, every run our car was real fast, except for the run before our last one. I got real tight and I couldn't make up ground like I wanted to. And we had a little bit of an off-day in the pits, the first couple of stops, and for them guys I'm used to gaining spots, and we lose a couple here or there, and then the last pit stop, we needed it, we got a really good pit stop. We only came out one car behind Bill so we had the position, and we just didn't have anything to run with that 9 car. We had a good top-five car all day, but we didn't have one that good."
AS A YOUNG DRIVER, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT BILL ELLIOTT'S VICTORY?
"It's pretty cool. My first Winston Cup race I ever drove, I drove for Bill when Bill's father died, in '98, I guess it was. I got to know him a little bit through that. He's a great guy and a great race-car driver so to me it's cool. Not as much last year, but the few years before that he struggled a little bit, and being as competitive as he is used to being, so it's cool for me to see him get in the ride and win races and be able to dominate like that. So that's pretty cool. I'm real happy to see a guy like that win the race."
WHAT'S THE BIG DIFFERENCE FOR YOU BETWEEN THIS YEAR AND LAST?
"Our first year, we came here and didn't run good, then we got wrecked on pit road. It actually wrecked it pretty bad on pit road, and we just rode around all day. And then last year, we had a really great car, we had a great test here we qualified 20th, but we didn't have a really great draw, and in Happy Hour we had one the fastest cars on long runs, pretty much the same as I felt we were like today, we were pretty good, and I got in the lap two wreck when the 96 car spun out. Last year we had real high hopes coming here and didn't get past lap one or two. I felt like we had a good car last year, and our test was real productive here. We found something that made our car go fast, and it was just a good car all day."
THE CREW WAS PRETTY CALM YESTERDAY. WAS THE CAR THAT AWESOME ALL WEEKEND?
"I guess it wasn't awesome enough. I was pretty happy with it in practice yesterday. I didn't want to put a lot of extra miles on the engine and the drivetrain. This place, there's long straightaways, and I didn't want break something in the engine either. We did a lot of testing. Everybody tested here, and we were happy with our test. All we did, we didn't even take that car apart. We left everything on it and painted it and came back. So I was real pleased with my car. We didn't have all the speed like Bill Elliott and some of them guys had, but we had a consistent car so we just put it away and waited and see what the race would do."
WHERE WAS BILL ELLIOTT STRONGEST?
"I couldn't run close behind him for very long. If I left the pits behind him, I could run behind him. I didn't get to run behind him enough to know. He was just fast everywhere, it seemed like. He was real fast on new tires."
DID YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS WITH THE HEAT?
"It was hot, but I think we all expected it to be hot. When I get hot or tired in a car it's the nights that I don't expect it to be hot. Like Martinsville I expected it to be 60 and we woke up and it was 85, so those are the days when you're kind of not ready for it, but you kind of prepare for it and drink a lot of fluids, and like Rusty says, get a good night's sleep the night before. For me anyway, there's just a consistent heat all day. It kept getting a little bit hotter and hotter and hotter all day, and I never really got to a point, you know, in the middle of the race where I was really thinking about, saying, 'Man, it's hot. I wish it would cool off.' It just kind of got a little bit worse all day. I'm glad it was 400 instead of 500, though."