The Nextel: Kenseth qualifying press conference

MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Tools Taurus (Qualified 3rd) "We didn't practice qualifying at all today because the schedule is so weird without having any night practice or anything, so we just worked on race setup. My car drove pretty decent,...

MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Tools Taurus (Qualified 3rd)

"We didn't practice qualifying at all today because the schedule is so weird without having any night practice or anything, so we just worked on race setup. My car drove pretty decent, actually better than I thought it would. My team did the best job, had the fastest stop and did all that, but I know I lost some time leaving. I couldn't get the car hooked up leaving. I lost a little bit on track probably and lost a little bit getting on pit road - all of those places added up to be those three tenths. I feel bad because we had the fastest pit stop. We didn't have the pole, but the guys did a great job."

WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET STARTING THIRD?

"I'm not used to starting up that far for sure. We won the pole here one time with our pit stop and tonight we were fairly close, so that feels good. If we could have a pit stop every week, I'd probably be able to qualify a little closer to Newman, but whenever you can qualify that good and start up front that's good. I think they're inverting six-to-12 on the first run, or something like that anyway, so hopefully we can get our car felt out and be running alright."

IT SEEMS WINNING THE POLE HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH THIS RACE.

"Yeah, that's good for me and Ryan. Whenever people give me stats about pole sitters not winning, that's usually good because I've only been on two poles and one of them had a pit stop. It's cool to qualify good, though. The guys get really, really pumped up about this. They practice really, really hard for this. The pit stop competition, which I'm not sure what the status if of that this year, but those two things, I know my guys really practice hard and they take a lot of pride in that because they can be in the middle of the race and I could be running eighth and we could have a 12-second pit stop and nobody might notice. Here, everybody is watching them and they're all on TV, so it's kind of their time to shine. Anytime you can do good, you always want to do your part to get them starting up as far as you can."

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT NO PRACTICE AFTER THIS TRUCK RACE?

"I don't ask. In my opinion, it's kind of silly. I don't know how to exactly put it the right way. To not have practice it really gives the guys an advantage who have tested. I know we kind of use it as a test for next week, but even if we could have had a half-hour or 45 minutes at night after the truck race, as much as this track changes, it would have been really nice for us to have. I don't know why they didn't do it. It puts a lot of emphasis on testing more than it should. I think it's kind of silly not having any race practice afterwards, but we'll just have to sort it out at the beginning of the race tomorrow night, but I don't get it either."

-ford-

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Series NASCAR Cup