Watkins Glen: Matt Kenseth preview

FAST FACTS * Matt Kenseth's 11.4-average finish this season ranks second among Cup drivers who have competed in all 21 events. * Watkins Glen International is one of only two tracks that Kenseth has yet to record a top-five finish; the other...

FAST FACTS

* Matt Kenseth's 11.4-average finish this season ranks second among Cup drivers who have competed in all 21 events.

* Watkins Glen International is one of only two tracks that Kenseth has yet to record a top-five finish; the other is Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

* While Kenseth has yet to record a top-10 finish in eight starts at Sonoma (his only track without a top 10), he has managed to score three top 10s in seven starts at The Glen.

* Kenseth's average start at Watkins Glen is 16.4; career best among 23 Cup tracks (including North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham) and 4.5 spots better than his career average for all tracks of 20.9.

* Kenseth has led only one lap in six races at Watkins Glen; third worst among tracks ahead of only Homestead and Sonoma.

* When the series stopped at Watkins Glen in 2005, Kenseth, who ended up in the Chase, was in 15th in the standings, 168 points out of 10th, (the cutoff at the time for the Chase).

* Kenseth will be driving the No. 17 Aflac Ford Fusion in Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series race at Watkins Glen. It will be the first time since 1999 that Kenseth has competed in the NBS at The Glen.

Kenseth on racing at Watkins Glen International:

"Road courses really aren't my specialty by any stretch of the imagination, but of the two we race on, I like Watkins Glen a lot better than Sonoma. The Glen is a lot faster and there's more room to pass. There are two or three good passing zones at The Glen where at Sonoma there's really only one. You also don't have the big elevation changes at Watkins Glen like you do at Sonoma which make it a little bit easier.

"We weren't near as bad as where we finished at Sonoma. We had several problems that got us terrible track position and then we ended up running out of gas coming to the white flag. So, I think the car is capable of a good finish. Obviously Jamie (McMurray) and Greg (Biffle) had good runs in Sonoma, and hopefully we can join them this weekend and run inside the top 10.

"I think running the Busch car on Saturday will help me on Sunday. It's the first time I've raced the Busch car at Watkins Glen in a long time so I'm hoping it will help me prepare for Sunday's Cup race. Any time you can get more seat time at a track you struggle at, it can only make you better."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Watkins Glen International:

"We're taking the same car we took to Sonoma and I think the car was pretty good out there. We just had some terrible luck that day, getting caught up in a couple of wrecks and then running out of gas killed us at the end. I don't believe Watkins Glen will turn into a fuel mileage race like Sonoma, which is good for everybody. I don't think anyone wants to plan to win a race on fuel mileage, but it is what it is, and sometimes that's the way you have to play it.

"Our number one concern right now is getting our cars to run better heading into the Chase. Watkins Glen hasn't been one of our best tracks over the years, but hopefully we can go there, take care of business and get a top 10 out of it. Really, it's all about the four races after this weekend, gaining some momentum at some tracks coming up that we've been pretty successful at over the years. We'd like to use those as a springboard into the Chase, but for this weekend, it's all about survival for us."

-credit: rfr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth