Kenseth receives Goodyear Gatorback championship NEW YORK, November 30, 2006 -- Winning at auto race tracks takes many forms, and it doesn't always mean capturing the checkered flag. Just ask Matt Kenseth, who won this year's Goodyear ...
Kenseth receives Goodyear Gatorback championship
NEW YORK, November 30, 2006 -- Winning at auto race tracks takes many forms, and it doesn't always mean capturing the checkered flag. Just ask Matt Kenseth, who won this year's Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap Championship.
Driving for Roush Racing and finishing second in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, Kenseth put enough distance between himself and the rest of the field to receive the coveted solid crystal trophy along with a check for $75,000 at today's NASCAR/NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon.
The contingency award is sponsored by Goodyear Engineered Products, manufacturer and marketer of the award's namesake -- Goodyear Gatorback Poly-V automotive belts. The trophy is laser-etched with the likeness of Kenseth and his car, his car's No. 17, and a Gatorback Poly-V belt.
A weekly Gatorback award goes to a driver posting the fastest lap while leading a Nextel Cup race. At the end of the season, the driver compiling the most Fastest Lap awards is declared the overall Gatorback champion for the season.
Kenseth captures top honors by having won the weekly award at six races.
Jeff Burton, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart each won the weekly award four times, while ten other drivers received it at least once.
The award is a tribute to teamwork, according to Jon Cocco, marketing manager for Goodyear's automotive belt-and-hose products.
"To turn in the fastest lap, a crew has to properly tune the engine and setup the car, and their driver must attack the track."
Kenseth logged his fastest award lap last April at the Talladega Superspeedway at 195.411 mph, and he and his teammates also captured the award at shorter tracks, including Las Vegas, Chicago and Bristol, where he turned a lap at 123.047 mph at the half-mile track. He also won the Fastest Lap award at Michigan and California and went on to win those races.
"Matt is a fierce competitor," said Cocco, "and he understands the importance of each component of a finely tuned race engine.
That's why we're happy his team continues to select Gatorback belts for their engine, which in turn supports our development of high-performance automotive belts for on and off the track.
"The belts are put to the test weekly during Cup races, supporting Goodyear's philosophy that we race, we learn, and our customers win," Cocco added. "Performance data collected at the track helps our power transmission belt engineers continuously improve products, strengthening our competitive advantage in the automotive aftermarket."
Gatorback Poly-V belts were first introduced to NASCAR racing in 2001. Today, every Nextel Cup car team chooses Gatorback, the same straight-off-the-shelf belts that race fans can purchase from auto parts stores and installers nationwide.
Goodyear has supplied belts to NASCAR for 25-years and is the exclusive NASCAR Performance licensee of automotive replacement Poly-V and v-belts, timing belts, tensioners and curved radiator hose.