Winston: Pole winner press conference

MATT KENSETH-17-DeWalt Power Tools Taurus (qualified 1st) "I was real proud of my DeWalt guys, the pressure was on them and they came through. They had to watch everybody else get all these pit stops, and they still went out and beat them all....

MATT KENSETH-17-DeWalt Power Tools Taurus (qualified 1st)

"I was real proud of my DeWalt guys, the pressure was on them and they came through. They had to watch everybody else get all these pit stops, and they still went out and beat them all. So I'm really proud of them guys, they stepped up and did it at Rockingham and they did it again here tonight to win that pole. To win a pole in Winston Cup I knew I was going to need help from my team because I can't do it by myself, I'm not a good enough qualifier."

INCENTIVE TO THE CREW FOR THE POLE? "Well, I knew it was 50 grand to win, I was going to split my cut with them. I'm glad I don't have to, I guess they already ahead of time, so that turns out okay. But it is incentive for them, we all do this because we're racers, but all our guys, especially the guys on the team, they work really hard and when they can get any kind of bonus like that it adds a little bit for them besides the bragging rights."

THE CREW WON THE PIT CREW CHALLENGE. HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO THEM? "Well, it's really important to them. That's what they do it for. It's kind of like their win. It's better for them than winning a race, probably, because they did it, they went over the wall and got the fastest pit stop of the night, and that's what them guys do, so it's kinda like a driver winning a race, it's probably how they feel when they win any kind of pit-crew contest or anything like what they did tonight because they were a big part of it. A lot of them guys don't get a lot of the credit they're due, so I'm glad when they get to."

THIS WEEK YOU'RE IN FAVOR OF KEEPING THE WINSTON IN CHARLOTTE? "Whatever everybody decides to do, I guess, is okay with me. I think this is a good place for it. You know, in the past when I used to watch it on TV, it used to be revved up to be a slam-bang race, which, obviously, we're going too fast for that. I think this is a great place. We all get to sleep in our own beds, so that's a plus. A lot of us, our crews and their families and stuff get to come out to this race, it's so close to their home, so those are the things I like about it, and it's a great race track for it. You can side-by-side and it's always exciting here at Charlotte."

ON THE WINSTON AND THE 600, WHICH HE WON A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO. "I'd love to win The Winston and turn that around where I could win it, but if I could either win The Winston or the 600, I'd take the 600 for sure. The 600's one of the coolest races of the year, to start during the day and then end at night, and everything that goes on, the longest race of the year, that's the race I probably look forward to more than any other race on the schedule. But, The Winston's cool. You go for a lot of money and you get to go wide open for the last 20 laps, and there's a lot of neat things that happen, so I just hope that I'm part of that last 10-car group and we can go for it tomorrow."

ON THE WINSTON AT BRISTOL. "I think that it would be exciting for the fans, I'd think it stink for the drivers. I think of we did it at Bristol, you can't really run side-by-side there. It's tough to pass, when you do pass, you usually have contact. I think if we did it there it would be an invitation for a wreck, but you still have to respect the people you're racing for and do the best you can, but I'd rather do it at a track like this or Richmond would be a cool place. Somewhere where you can run side-by-side and pass without running into people I think it would be a better race."

-ford-

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Series NASCAR Cup