Matt Kenseth registered the second win of his NASCAR Winston Cup career and snapped a 59-race winless streak with today's triumph in the Subway 400. Kenseth, whose first NASCAR Busch Series win came here at Rockingham in 1998, registered his only...
Matt Kenseth registered the second win of his NASCAR Winston Cup career and snapped a 59-race winless streak with today's triumph in the Subway 400. Kenseth, whose first NASCAR Busch Series win came here at Rockingham in 1998, registered his only other Winston Cup triumph in the 2000 Coca-Cola 600. The win is the 524th for Ford in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, most among manufacturers, and the 54th all-time triumph for Taurus.
JACK ROUSH, Car Owner --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus
"We're really glad to bring this kind of success to DEWALT and Matt and everybody at Roush Racing that has been involved and worked so hard. A lot of times you make the effort, certainly we didn't buy more tires than anybody today and didn't bring anymore people than the other teams did today. We got the result that makes it really worthwhile. We had a year last year that didn't get us the number of results that we expected and planned for and had become accustomed to. I really like Rockingham. I came to Rockingham in the sixties and seventies for drag racing and we came here with Mark and he won his first race in '89, and, of course, Matt had won his first Busch race and we've won several other times here with Busch cars and with Winston Cup cars with all the drivers. Rockingham has been really good to us. You can't say too much about Robbie Reiser and the great job the pit crew did today. When Matt was out front, they kept him out front. If he was a position or two back, coming down pit road, they put him out front again. When you think about people that have won their championships in the last decade, pit crew performance the like of which Robbie and the guys brought to the DEWALT team today is essential and that certainly bodes well for what we'll be able to do with them the rest of the year."
WERE YOU SURPRISED THERE WAS NO RED FLAG AND DO YOU THINK IT WOULD HAVE MATTERED? "First thing, I've got great confidence in spite of some of my criticisms of NASCAR's policies and practices over the years. They get it right much more than they get it wrong and I was waiting to see which way it would go. Whichever call they made, I was sure it would be consistent and it would be okay. Having said that, nobody looks forward to having crashes on the last lap or two and it would have been a recipe for a big crash had we had a white flag followed by a checkered. Looking down the road, I feel better about the racing for the fans and for all the teams if we're able to finish under green. I would be a proponent, if NASCAR would decide they wanted to do it, to extend a race a number of laps so they could restart and then finish under green in a circumstance like this."
HOW DO YOU LIKE COMING TO A TRACK WHERE THE TEAM AND DRIVER HAVE MORE TO DO WITH THE OUTCOME THAN DAYTONA? "We had one of our best Daytonas, if not our best Daytona ever, as a team this year. I'm not unhappy about that and I don't want to diminish how good we felt about that when we were finished with it. But all through the week, when we were having the concerns over being competitive and when we were having the concerns over making our engines last and all the other demons that chase you for those 10 days, we held hands and said, 'Boys, we're gonna get through this. We're gonna go to Rockingham and we're gonna have a race.' The thing about Rockingham is that it's a race track where the driver's feeling about his car and his strategy and all the things he can affect through his team have a great impact on his result. We would sure rather race that way than to be caught up in somebody else's problems."
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE OFF TO A GOOD START? "We kept telling ourselves all last year when one bad thing would happen after another that we were a better race team than that. The terrible things that happened, whether it was a parts problem or some other issue that we hadn't planned for or anticipated, would cause us trouble, that would not be the norm, that we would do better than that. This business ebbs and flows. We certainly got less for our effort last year than we've gotten in the past for the same effort and I hope we'll continue to have the good fortune for the first half of the year that we've had in these first two races, and that many of our competitors who we would have been expecting to be racing against were nowhere to be seen in these first two races. But this is gonna be a long year and to be able to have a good start rather than the start we had last year, boy, it's gonna let me sleep good tonight."
WHAT ABOUT THE ENGINE FAILURES TODAY? "We've got one more thing to race this year. We got to race our engine for, in the case here, about 600 miles where it used to be a 400-mile event. You shock it and you cool it and you overheat it with the qualifying practice and then your qualifying event, that will get some people caught more than others. I'd like to think with the depth of our program that we'll fare better than average through that. When we look at what happened to the 97, the 97 finished 12th today. When they were doing the final inspection on Saturday evening, they found a pinhole had developed in a cylinder bore due to some porosity or some issue with the cylinder wall. You say, 'Well, that was very unfortunate and did this rule cause that.' He had to start from the back, but the fact is that the engine that was in the car would have been the race engine and the problem would have occurred 150 miles into the race. We had 150 miles of practice or so and it showed up there, so we were the benefactor even though it looked like we had to start from behind. We were the benefactor of a good result with the 97 car based on the fact we had the opportunity to put 150 or 200 miles on it before the green flag dropped and was able to see this problem. We've had a great deal of experience and we accept the challenge enthusiastically to make these engines last longer. If NASCAR wanted to seal the engines and make you run them two races, I'd jump for joy. We'd go do that with even greater enthusiasm."