Watkins Glen: Ford - Matt Kenseth interview

Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus, qualified 7th for tomorrow's scheduled running of the Sirius at the Glen - one of four Roush Racing drivers who will start in the top 10. Kenseth goes into the race with a ...

Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus, qualified 7th for tomorrow's scheduled running of the Sirius at the Glen - one of four Roush Racing drivers who will start in the top 10. Kenseth goes into the race with a 286-point lead in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings over second-place Dale Earnhardt, Jr. after a second-place finish last week in the Brickyard 400. Kenseth spoke about how he plans to attack the road course this weekend at Watkins Glen International.

MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus:

HOW DO YOU PLAN ATTACKING THE COURSE THIS WEEKEND? "You have to come here and run hard, but you've got to stay on the course, too. Last year I tried to attack it a little too hard and it wasn't very forgiving for us, so we'll just run as hard as we can and try to run a smart race."

ON A TRACK YOU HAVEN'T DONE WELL AT, DO YOU GO BACK AND REVIEW WHAT YOU'VE DONE AND TRY TO CHANGE IT UP? "Yes and no. There have been times we haven't run good here, but there have been times we've run really, really well here and had problems. Last year I think we had one of the fastest cars and I just made a dumb mistake and cost us the race. We just have to be a little bit smarter than what we've been in the past, but, yet, we have to be fast at the same time."

WHERE DO YOU FALL AS FAR AS BEING SUITED FOR ROAD COURSE RACING? "I don't know. I think in your head if you think you're not suited to drive road courses, you're beat before you even get here, so I don't look at it that way. I look at it as a challenge. It's different from the racing we do every week, so I just look at it as a challenge. This is something I enjoy doing. I enjoy this race track a lot and I look forward to racing."

WHAT'S BEEN THE KEY TO YOUR CONSISTENCY THIS YEAR? "We've had really good equipment. The guys have done a good job putting stuff together and getting to the end of the races. That's been a big part of it."

IS THIS A DEFINING RACE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE? "They're all the same, really, as far as importance because they all pay the same amount of points. There are some races where maybe it's a little easier to find trouble than other races, or there might be places where you don't run quite as good as other places, but, honestly, I felt good about coming up here. I was more worried about Sears Point because that seems like a much more difficult course for me to drive on than Watkins Glen. I feel pretty good about coming up here and racing."

DID THE TEST HELP? "I don't know. It helps as far as familiarizing yourself with the place a little bit because you're not here for a whole year, but we didn't really learn a lot car-wise. We pretty much have the same stuff we had last year, but it never hurts to come up and run laps."


IS IT A DISTRACTION? "Not really. When you're getting the attention or getting a lot of questions that means you've been running good, so that's a good thing."

WHAT ABOUT THE TALK ABOUT POSSIBLY CHANGING THE POINTS SYSTEM? "I don't know. I don't care what they do. Whatever they do, we'll learn to deal with it and run the best we can. The point system has been this way for a long time. Last year we won the most races and finished eighth in the points and nobody was bugging us about it then. When we did that last year, I thought the point system was correct. I think it should reward consistency and it should reward the team that has done the best job all the way through the year - not just on their best days when they can win races, but on their worst days when they struggle and still find a way to get the best finish out of it. So I like the way the point system is set up. Even though last year I was on the other side of the fence and won the most races and didn't finish very high in the points, I still liked the way it was set up."

DID FINISHING AHEAD OF GORDON, WHO BY HIS ACCOUNTS HAD A HORRIBLE WEEKEND EVEN THOUGH HE FINISHED FOURTH, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU? "If finishing fourth is a horrible weekend, then I'll take that every week. That's pretty good. I don't really worry about that too much, but everybody else does. Our goal is to finish ahead of everybody. Our goal last week was to try to win the Brickyard 400 and that's what we tried to do. We brought a real competitive car there, we qualified OK and we raced really good all day. That's what we were aiming at and we weren't really looking at what anybody else was doing."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Matt Kenseth