Richmond: Matt Kenseth preview

Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT team were in position to win Sunday's race at Talladega late, before a flat tire put an end to their latest bid at a third win in '09. The team hopes to get back on the right side of lady luck this weekend in...

Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT team were in position to win Sunday's race at Talladega late, before a flat tire put an end to their latest bid at a third win in '09. The team hopes to get back on the right side of lady luck this weekend in Richmond, where Kenseth has nine top-10 finishes and a win in '02.

KENSETH AT RICHMOND
Kenseth will start his 18th race at Richmond International Speedway this weekend, where he has accumulated top-10 finishes in exactly half of his starts (9). Kenseth has an average finish of 16.9 at the 3/4-mile track where he made his first start in May of 2000. He has finished top 10 in two of his last five there, but outside the top 10 in the last three.

TOUGH TIMES IN RICHMOND IN 2008 Last season was statistically the worst for Kenseth and the DEWALT team at Richmond. Finishes of 38 and 39 gave Kenseth a 38.5 average finish at the track, Kenseth's worst year average since his rookie year in 2000 when he had an average finish of 23.5. His best average (3.5) came in 2002.

STAYING GROUNDED
Kenseth's multi-flip accident last weekend in the Nationwide race was the first time Kenseth has flipped a race car in his NASCAR career. In fact it was the first time since his early days of late model racing. The flip was also the first for a Jack Roush car in 4,002 NASCAR starts. Ironically, the second came via Carl Edwards in the Cup race on Sunday.

DOUBLE DUTY
For the second consecutive weekend, Kenseth will run both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide races. Kenseth's 14 top-10 and 11 top-five finishes in 17 NNS starts at Richmond. He will run the Nationwide car next weekend at Darlington as well.

QUOTING MATT...
"Richmond is a great little short track that drives like a speedway. It is fast, but small so all the fans are close to the action. Both ends of the track are different. Turn two is a real tight turn and turn four is more sweeping. You try to run on the bottom for a fast lap, but also have to be able to make the top work to pass.

"We have struggled at Richmond since switching to the COT car. We need to get the car to turn better in the center of the corner, and still have some sort of traction on corner exit. That's what we really struggled with last year. We also got caught up in accidents in both races there last year, so we need to miss the wreck if there is one."

QUOTING DREW...
"As always, track position will be key this weekend, but unlike the other short tracks there is room to pass at Richmond. You have to make sure your brakes last the entire race and you need to put yourself in position in the end with both a good handling race car and good pit stops in order to get a good finish.

"To get back on track at Richmond, we have to have good stops on pit road and we will have to improve the chassis package we had at Phoenix two weeks ago."

FAST FACTS

* This will be Kenseth's 19th Cup start at RIR, where he has an average finish of 16.9.

* Kenseth has finished top 10 in 50 percent of his 18 starts at Richmond.

* Kenseth has led 192 laps in eight of his 18 starts at RIR.

* Kenseth will run the Nationwide race at PIR this weekend. He had finsihed inside the top 10 in 82.4 (14) and inside the top five 64.7 (11) of his previous 17 Nationwide starts at PIR, but has never won.

-credit: rfr

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