Kenseth felt "a lot more comfortable" with car at IMS

Matt Kenseth impressed Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, finishing second to Kevin Harvick in the Brickyard 400.

Kenseth felt "a lot more comfortable" with car at IMS
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang, Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang, Matt Kenseth, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro
Matt Kenseth, Roush Fenway Racing
Matt Kenseth, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro McDelivery
Matt Kenseth, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Credit One Bank
Matt Kenseth, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro McDelivery
Matt Kenseth, Roush Fenway Racing, Ford Fusion Roush Performance

Kenseth, 48, stepped into the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet in May after Kyle Larson's firing.

In his first race back, the veteran driver scored a top-ten finish at Darlington. But since then, it's been a disappointing string of results with nothing higher than 15th until the Pocono doubleheader. There the CGR team seemed to find something, finishing 11th and 12th in the two races that weekend.

At IMS, they led 12 laps and were runner-up in the Brickyard 400. Despite the effort, Kenseth admitted that the day "certainly wasn't flawless."

He added, "I could have done a little bit better on a couple of those restarts, particularly the last one.  But I feel a lot more comfortable than I have been for sure. I think really Pocono was a big step forward for us. It was the first time, our finishes don't look spectacular, 11th and 12th, but we've been finishing 20th and 25th. Obviously it's a much better car and team than that.

"I feel like we had done some stuff at Pocono that really seemed to work for me and directionally seemed to be better. The car drove pretty good here the whole entire day, too. I'm hoping we can just carry that momentum into Kentucky, just keep moving forward with that. Hopefully get to the front like we did today, running up front where this team belongs."

Building confidence

Kenseth's result moved him up to 28th in points, but to make the playoffs the No. 42 team will need to win. IMS was a stepping stone towards that goal with ten races remaining in the regular season.

"Whenever you run well, you build more confidence, not just for myself but for the team and everybody involved. Running bad has an opposite effect. Certainly we had a good day starting off at Darlington. I was super sloppy and rusty, we still finished 10th.

"Just kind of downhill from there. We went back and were a little faster. I hit the wall, got a bad finish.  Nothing was going really well.  Like I said, we had a couple decent races last weekend with no mistakes, no problems, no issues, got decent finishes. Today we were able to be competitive, run up front. (Crew chief Chad Johnston) had great calls, really good calls. Gave me everything I needed to win the race.  I'm a little disappointed I couldn't get it done honestly. Had the best tires, gave me good track position. Couldn't quite get the 4 car (Harvick).

"When you run well, it builds confidence. But you have to go out and do it each and every week."

The series now heads to Kentucky Speedway, one of the newer tracks on the circuit and a place where Kenseth has previously won at in 2013.

Read Also:

shares
comments
Success of NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheaders rests in fans' hands

Previous article

Success of NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheaders rests in fans' hands

Next article

NASCAR Heat 5 Gold Edition out now on PS4, Xbox One & Steam

NASCAR Heat 5 Gold Edition out now on PS4, Xbox One & Steam
Load comments
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020