Watkins Glen: Matt Kenseth preview

Kenseth, No. 17 DEWALT Team Looks for Right Turn at Glen After another solid finish last week at Pocono, Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT race team shift their focus to road racing and Watkins Glen International, as the series makes its...

Kenseth, No. 17 DEWALT Team Looks for Right Turn at Glen

After another solid finish last week at Pocono, Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 DEWALT race team shift their focus to road racing and Watkins Glen International, as the series makes its second and final road course stop of the season.

MATT AT WATKINS GLEN

This will be Kenseth's 10th start at Watkins Glen International. He finished top 10 in three of his first five races at the 2.45-mile road course, but has finished outside the top 10 in the last four. He has finished top 12 in his last two starts there.

ROAD COURSES

Last season Kenseth statistically posted his best season of Cup road racing, averaging 10th in his two road course starts at Sonoma (8th) and Watkins Glen (12th). He battled back from a wreck to finish 18th earlier this year at Sonoma. Overall, Kenseth has 19 road course starts in the NASCAR Cup series, with a total of four top-10 finishes and one lap led. He has never finished top five in a NASCAR Cup road race, but he does have three top-10 finishes in nine starts at the Glen. Kenseth has led only one lap in his 19 career road course races.

GETTING BACK ON TRACK

After a string of four straight finishes outside the top 15 in June, Kenseth and the team have now finished in the top 11 in three of their last four races this season.

TIGHT POINTS BATTLE HEATS UP WITH ONLY FIVE TO GO

With only five races remaining before the Chase cutoff point, Kenseth moved up to 11th position in the Sprint Cup point standings; one point ahead teammate Greg Biffle in 12th and 102 points ahead of Kyle Busch in 13th. He trails 10thplace by 58 points, in a tight points battle that sees just 79 points separate 12thand seventh positions.

QUOTING MATT...

"Road course racing is far from my specialty, but I think we have gotten better with it over time. It's fun to do, but it's something different and we just don't do it very much, so it's always a challenge for me. Watkins Glen is quite a bit different than Sonoma and of the two, I like racing at Watkins Glen better. It drives a lot more like a speedway -- like a Michigan or something. You don't have the big elevation changes that you do at Sonoma, which makes it a little easier. At Watkins Glen it is more about momentum and going fast. The key is to qualify well and work out a good pit strategy. If you do that, you can hopefully come out of there with a solid finish.

"We were able to get a respectable finish last week at Pocono and our finishes have been pretty descent the last few weeks. It's important that we keep getting better and find ways to have good finishes as the races start to wind down. Each week is important and it's important that you finish as good as possible in every race."

FAST FACTS...

* This will be Kenseth's 10th career start at Watkins Glen International.

* Kenseth has three top-10 finishes at Watkins Glen.

* This will be Kenseth's 20th Sprint Cup road race; he has never finished top five at a Cup road course race.

* Kenseth has finished 12th in the last two races at Watkins Glen.

* Kenseth finished 18th earlier this year in the season's other road course event at Sonoma.

* Kenseth has finished 11th or better in three of his last four starts.

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Kyle Busch