Las Vegas: Matt Kenseth preview

Kenseth, No. 17 Team Look to Hit Jackpot in Vegas After back-to-back victories at Daytona and California, Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Team look to become the first team in NASCAR history to start the Sprint Cup season with three consecutive ...

Kenseth, No. 17 Team Look to Hit Jackpot in Vegas

After back-to-back victories at Daytona and California, Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Team look to become the first team in NASCAR history to start the Sprint Cup season with three consecutive victories when they travel to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.

Worthy Note:

Kenseth became the first driver since 1997 to start the season with consecutive victories.

BACK-TO-BACK BEGINNING RARE

Kenseth became the first driver since 1997 (the season before he broke into the Cup Series) to start the season with consecutive victories and only the fifth driver in the sport's history to accomplish the feat.

GOING FOR THREE IN A ROW

A win this weekend would make Kenseth the first driver to ever start the season with three straight wins.

MATT IN VEGAS

While nothing's a sure bet in Las Vegas, Kenseth's consistency at the 1.5-mile track has been solid. In nine Cup starts at LVMS, Kenseth has completed all but one of the 2,287 laps completed. He has led an impressive 438 laps (most in track history), while taking home two wins (tied for second most), four top five and five top 10 finishes - garnering an average finish of ninth. Kenseth led 70 laps at LVMS last season, before getting wrecked on the final lap and finishing 20th.

IMPRESSIVE START FOR THE 'BLICK'

With last Sunday's win, Drew Blickensderfer kicked off his Sprint Cup career as a crew chief with consecutive victories. Dating back to last season in the Nationwide Series, "The Blick" has won his last four races on the pit box, after winning the final two NNS events with Carl Edwards and the first two with Kenseth this season in the Cup Series. The former Indiana University All-American wrestler, will look to make history this weekend in Vegas if the No. 17 team can make it three in a row.

USG ON BOARD

Kenseth will run the USG Sheetrock paint scheme on Sunday for the first of three times this season. The other two USG Sheetrock races will be Chicago in July and Phoenix in Nov.

MATT KENSETH

"I feel good about our chances in Las Vegas. You really have to have all the stars lined up to win, but I feel good going there. I feel like our stuff has been really competitive at those style of race tracks. Our cars have been good and our pit crew has been right on the money. You never know what might happen in a race, but I feel we'll be competitive this weekend.

"We really like what we see in this No. 17 team. The core of this team has been here a while. Drew (Blickensderfer) is a great leader and he's really brought some spark. Morale with the team is really high and it has freed up Chip (Bolin) to really work on the race car and do what he is really extremely good at -- getting the cars to go fast. You can just feel the energy of the group, the excitement and the enthusiasm. These guys worked really hard in the off season and they have come out ready to race."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer

"We are really looking forward to going to Vegas, it has been a really strong track for this team and Roush Fenway in general. Matt had a strong run there last year, but got wrecked on the last lap. Our goal will be to take what we learned from California and build on that and hopefully we can go to Vegas this weekend and compete for a win. We really are trying to not get to wrapped up in three in a row. It's a long season and this is the next race on the schedule. We'll go there and put in the same type of effort that we have been, and see where it goes from there. We know we have a a driver and a team that is capable of winning at these style of tracks, its just up to us to put it all together and hopefully we'll be there at the end with a chance."

FAST FACTS

* Kenseth has two wins ('03 and '04) in nine previous starts at LVMS, the second most in track history.

* Kenseth's 438 laps led are the most in track history at LVMS.

* Kenseth has four top five (44.4%) and five top 10 (55.5%) finishes in nine starts at Vegas. J * Kenseth became the first driver since 1997 to start the season with back-to-back wins.

* First year crew chief Drew Blickensderfer is two-for-two in his career as a Cup crew chief.

* Blickensderfer has won his last four races on the pit box, dating back to the final Nationwide races of 2008.

* Kenseth is looking to become the first driver in NASCAR history to win the first three races of the season.

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Carl Edwards