MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Finished 2nd) "We started in the back and had an OK car. I don't think we had the car as good as his (Tony's), but we just had great pit stops and they just adjusted on the car a lot and got it better...
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Finished 2nd)
"We started in the back and had an OK car. I don't think we had the car as good as his (Tony's), but we just had great pit stops and they just adjusted on the car a lot and got it better and got us the right adjustments we needed at the end to be part way competitive. We couldn't run near whatever the 9 was doing there at the end, but we had it the best it was all day at the end so it was a good job by those guys."
HOW DID YOU GET FROM THE BACK TO THE FRONT BECAUSE IT LOOKED HARD TO PASS? WAS IT DIFFERENT FROM YESTERDAY?
"I know with my car when you're back in traffic, if you're like fifth on back, I think your car handles about the same. What I noticed today is we had our car pretty good. We kept freeing it up all day and getting it better and better and drove up to fifth or sixth or seventh or wherever we were and had a good pit stop and came out third. We actually got up there and led for just a couple of laps and it got so loose. It was just an unbelievably different setup from being in the lead to being 10th, at least for my car, so that was the thing I noticed. We had our car pretty good in traffic, but when we did get up to the front it was hard to keep it there for me. It was just too loose and if we tightened it up I thought we were gonna be too tight if we did get back to fifth or sixth place."
WITH THE LAPS COUNTING DOWN WERE YOU JUST GOING FOR THE POINTS AND NOT PUSHING IT TOO HARD?
"No. Whenever I get asked this question it's the same. It pays the most points to win and lead the most laps. It could have paid a million points to win and I couldn't have caught Kasey Kahne. I don't think I could have caught him with eight tires to tell you the truth, he was so fast at the end. You're running as hard as you can at the end. Yeah, when you're in a spot and you can't catch the leader and you're hoping the guy behind you can't catch you, you're counting the laps and looking forward to the end of the race so you don't lose another spot. But you're always running as hard as you can to try to get up there and that's the best we had our car all day. There's no way we could have run any quicker than we were."
DO YOU FEEL THE SEASON HAS ALL EVENED OUT FOR YOU?
"From my point I don't think my season could be a lot better than what it's been, really. We've had cars that have been contenders basically every week, except for probably Martinsville and there we had a top 10 car before I wrecked it, so I don't think my season could be any better. I let a couple of them get away from me at Bristol and Vegas with under five to go. I wish I could have them, but it's been a great year. We've had just super-competitive cars. The group is really energized and having a lot of fun. It's a little different group and they're excited to be at the race track and they're giving me great stuff, so for my part I don't think it could be a lot better."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE CARS AND WHAT HAPPENS ON TRACKS LIKE THERE WHERE IT'S HARD TO PASS?
"They ask about passing and not being able to pass the leader and this and that. That's kind of the discussion every week, but if you think about it, qualifying is a lot different than racing and cars get sprinkled all over the field. After a couple hundred miles, the good cars should be in front by then and when the good cars are in front, the cars that brought the best cars to the track or have the right setup for the day should be able to stay there unless they have a problem. They talk about passing and those cars staying up front and not a lot more passing, but when the fast cars are up there, if the guy behind you is slower, he's certainly not gonna be able to pass you once they get to the front. I think we could shorten the races. I think Pocono could be 300 miles. But once they get up there and the fast cars are up there, you might see them mixing it up but it's gonna be hard for a car that dropped back to get up there."