Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, is the highest ranking Ford driver in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. Kenseth sits second and trails leader Jimmie Johnson by only 21 points. He spoke about this weekend's race...
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, is the highest ranking Ford driver in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. Kenseth sits second and trails leader Jimmie Johnson by only 21 points. He spoke about this weekend's race after Friday's practice.
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE HERE? "Richmond is like a little mini superspeedway in a way. It's a short track, but it kind of drives like it wants to be a speedway. It's the same thing at most short tracks. You've got to be able to turn good in the middle and have good traction up off the corner. This track also gets pretty wide so there are several grooves. When you practice here during the day it gets pretty hot and then you race at night, so the conditions change a little bit."
WHAT DICTATES WHICH GROOVE YOU RACE IN HERE? "It depends on the situation, but if you're trying to pass somebody, you run in the groove that they're not in. Generally, the outside gets a little quicker. You just kind of move around and see where you can find the most grip during the night."
THOUGHTS ON CONDITIONS NOW FOR PRACTICE AND THEN AT NIGHT FOR TOMORROW? "We've always practiced here during the day and qualified during the day, and then raced at night. We've never had night practice, so I don't think it's a big deal. I think everybody is pretty used to it, plus we all tested a few weeks ago at night so I don't think it's too big of a deal."
DOES THIS TRACK TAKE ON MORE IMPORTANCE BECAUSE IT'S THE LAST RACE BEFORE THE CHASE STARTS? "I think they're all equally important. Obviously when it gets down to the end you always look towards that last race, but every race in the first 26 pays the same points and they're all equally important."
HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR START SO FAR? "The year has been pretty good so far, but there's a long ways to go and it's easy to get things turned around and go the wrong way. I think it's something that you've just got to keep working on every week and try to keep everybody working hard at it and try to keep your stuff running good."
HOW IMPORTANT IS QUALIFYING HERE? "For an impound race qualifying somewhat tells you what you've got for a race setup, so I think it's important but I don't think it's the end of the world. Four hundred laps at a track like this is still a long time. I think you can start in the back anywhere in a Nextel Cup race and if you have a good enough car, you should be able to find your way toward the front by the end. So it is a good two-wide track where you can do a lot of good racing and if you do qualify bad, you still have a chance to do decent."
HOW IS PIT ROAD HERE? "It's a pretty nice pit lane. It's pretty easy to get on and pretty easy to get off, so there's quite a bit of room. For a three-quarter mile race track it's a good pit road."