Talladega: Matt Kenseth preview

FAST FACTS * Matt Kenseth has spent 650 of the past 752 laps (2005 & 2006) at Talladega running in the top 15, which is best among all Cup drivers. * Kenseth has an average running position during that span of 7.698, tops among all Cup ...

FAST FACTS

* Matt Kenseth has spent 650 of the past 752 laps (2005 & 2006) at Talladega running in the top 15, which is best among all Cup drivers.

* Kenseth has an average running position during that span of 7.698, tops among all Cup drivers.

* Kenseth's Driver Rating of 105.8 at Talladega is also tops among all Cup drivers since 2005. Driver Rating is a formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.

* In the past seven races, Kenseth has picked up a total of 140 positions from where he started to where he finished, or an average of 20 spots per race.

* Kenseth has completed every lap so far in 2007, one of only three drivers to do so (Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton).

* Kenseth ranks fourth in laps completed (2,472) at Talladega since the beginning of 2000; Kenseth's rookie season in NEXTEL Cup.

* Kenseth's average starting position at Talladega is 25.3, which ranks last among NEXTEL Cup tracks for Kenseth's career.

Kenseth on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:

"We've had a great car at Talladega the past couple of years and we're taking it back this weekend. Of course, I guess like a lot of other cars, it will go into retirement after Sunday since this is the last time we'll run the current speedway cars at Talladega.

"The past few times at Talladega, we've been in position to win in last 10 laps or so, but I just haven't had much luck when it comes to picking partners at the end of the race. Last fall, everyone stayed tucked in line too long and we were too far back to make a move; in the spring I jumped out of line but had trouble getting help, and in the fall of 2005 I was leading at the white flag and got teamed up on the last lap. So go figure.

"The good thing is, our car has been as good as anyone for the most part over the past four races there and I think we'll be as competitive this weekend. I can't say enough about how good this team has performed this year. We might be a little off when it comes to the setup, especially with the COT, but I find it hard to believe anyone's been better on pit road this year than our guys."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:

"Every time we go to a restrictor-plate track we take the same approach -- understand that there are a lot of things that are out of our control, but we need to take care of everything that we can control. That means pit stops, getting on and off of pit road and making the proper adjustments throughout the day.

"You don't really think track position when you think of Talladega, but we want to keep our track position throughout the day and keep Matt as close to the front as possible. We don't want him to have to work his way back through the middle of the pack because we mess up on pit road. You never want to be in the middle of the pack, but especially at Talladega, when one cut tire can wipe out half of the field.

"Matt's done a heck of a job this year of getting really good finishes out of decent cars. The top five at Phoenix proved that, the second at Texas and hanging on to a top 10 at Martinsville, just goes to show you that if we can get these cars a little bit better, he'll be able to drive it to the front."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth