Tag:Matt Kenseth
Posted on: October 16, 2011 1:33 am

Matt Kenseth, Roush team post Charlotte comments

Posted by Pete Pistone

MATT KENSETH:  Well, thanks.  It was awesome win for us.  We had a pretty decent car.  All night, I felt like we had a car that would probably last 150 laps or so, that if we could get it front, it would be hard to beat.  But it was really hard to pass tonight, especially after you had about 20 laps on your tires, you needed to get it done right away. 

And we got ourselves behind just a little bit that one time and got back to fifth or sixth and honestly took that last 150 laps or whatever to get back to the lead.           

So it was a good race.  I had fun racing with Kyle there.  We had a pretty decent restart, the second to last one and got by Denny and Carl, and ran Kyle down and it was tough to get by him.  I'm glad we could make it happen because it was -- like I said, it was challenging.           

KERRY THARP:  Well, congratulations.  And Jack Roush, Matt Kenseth certainly showed championship material here once again this evening, and now he's third place in points and halfway through the Chase, he's got to be a guy that people are looking at.           

JACK ROUSH:  Well, I'm really proud of what Matt and Jimmy did tonight.  Crew chiefs have a tough job, he's out shuffling the car through the tech line to make sure the height measurements are fair and everything works out the way that he thinks he should; that's why he's not here right now          
With all of the engineering and technical support behind these teams, it comes down to the decisions, the last 20 percent of the decision is worked out between the driver and crew chief.           

And Jimmy is a championship quality crew chief.  He won with Kurt Busch a few years ago, and Matt ran with Robbie of course and Robbie is our general manager now.  We have a lot of depth in the organization and the Ford cars ran well tonight.  Just a matter of time before Matt broke loose from his obscurity in the middle of the pack and worked his way to the front.           

What happened to Jimmie Johnson is a sobering lesson for everybody.  You can't afford to break apart, you can't afford to put a wheel long, or a loose lug-nut on pit road with an extra pass at the wrong time down to serve a penalty could be a championship-losing event.  There's just a lot that these guys have to do that has to be really done correctly.  And Jimmy and Matt got it done tonight and I'm sure they are going to be a factor in this championship coming down the stretch.           

KERRY THARP:  Joining us now is crew chief Jimmy Fenning, and Jimmy, certainly got to be proud of this team the way they came together and really just showed their strength there towards the last third of the race.  Congratulations.  Talk about the win here this evening.          

JIMMY FENNIG:  It was pretty good at the end there.  We made another adjustment and seemed like the car come to life a little bit better.  Still didn't get it totally fixed but it was good enough to win tonight.            

Q.  Matt, you've talked about this a little bit, but could you and Jimmy talk about how important it is to have improved in qualifying and how much of a factor, being able to start up there tonight was?           

MATT KENSETH:  Yeah, it make as a big difference, a lot different than that it was five or six years ago.  I probably did not stress out quite as much about qualifying, because -- it wasn't a problem in the past 24 cars in four hours.  Everybody's running at the same speed, which makes it difficult to pass and track position is really important.  So qualifying, that always helps with your pit style and track position and get out and get a bonus point and lead a little bit so it's always important.           

JIMMY FENNIG:  Yes, qualifying is real important, because if you don't qualify good you're stuck back in the pack and you have the dirty air and makes the adjustments for us harder racing against the dirty air and figuring out what to do.  So it's pretty important to qualify good.            

Q.  You talked on television about toilet restarts in the past.  What did you tonight different than in the past.           

MATT KENSETH:  I hit my head -- what did you just say?  Just a joke restarts obviously have not been my specialty lately if you watch many races, especially when we restart second from the bottom.  I was kicking myself when Kyle got around me and 11 got around me on the next restart and I knew we had a shot to win the race if we got in front of Kyle and ran him down the last long run we had, I knew our car was a little bit superior to his and I was going to feel pretty bad if I cost these guys a race again.  Thankfully we got the second laps restart, we were fourth and outside and I could get rolling with Kyle right away, and had a good couple sets of corners and got up to second and then it was -- I was able to race him one-on-one and that was a big key.          

Q.  Can you talk about the run on the third restart after the third caution where you went from 11th in the back of the pack, given how bad it's been trying to get out of traffic, to gaining three spots on that first lap and gaining a couple more, you know, I think your comment was, I can breathe now, hole I crap.           

MATT KENSETH:  Well, there was a few toilet jokes thrown in tonight.  But yeah, that particular restart I ran three-wide through turn one and two the first two laps which is not really advisable, but it's difficult to pass, and what happens is there's a lot of guys on two, and you have to take advantage of your four tires, it seemed like tonight, it was weird you could run 15 to 20 laps and had an advantage and you could pass and then it flipped a switch and everyone was the same speed and you could not go forward anymore.  We were aggressive and ran our way back to fifth or sixth and he settled right there and we had a good pit stop.  Jimmy pitted me early and ran past a couple more guys and got ourselves back up to third and that got us back in the mix again.            

Q.  It's been 20 races since you won but you've had some good cars in the Chase, talk about the satisfaction to win at the halfway point of the Chase?           

JACK ROUSH:  I don't know if you saw the same race that I did, but we had seven of our cars tonight that ran in the Top-10 most of the night except for problems we had.  We are at the top of our game as far as our mile-and-a-half program.           

There's other teams that have got good programs but nobody has got a better mile-and-a-half program than us and including tonight there was three races left, mile-and-a-half races left in the Chase and so I felt really good about that.  Ford has given us great such for the for our Fusion, we have a good aero package and mechanics works well based on the lab testing and engines make a lot of power.          

I am not embarrassed we have not won more race.  We have had races with we missed because we made the wrong decision with two tires, three tires, fuel economy, but we are in championship form.  And in my 24 years, I've never had better cars for the championship stretch than we have got and we are anxious to see how it's going to work out.  But I don't feel vindicated.  I just think that the hard work everybody's done is paying off, and we are getting what we deserve.           

MATT KENSETH:  I mean, you know, I'm happy to be -- happy to have won obviously.  Like you say it's been 20 races which doesn't seem that long because I don't know how many it was before that, I think it was 70 some before.  That so you're always thankful.  I'm always thankful to get to victory lane.  You never know when you are going to win your last race -- I'm certainly in a great position to be able to win races and these guys give me the cars and the crew and the opportunity to do that.            

Q.  How much does Jimmie Johnson's accident change maybe the complexion of the Chase for the rest of you, and do you feel like this is Roush Fenway's maybe best chance since 2008 to win with Carl and Matt?           

JACK ROUSH:  For anybody that has a wreck or breaks an engine or has a cut tire at the wrong time, you can't expect to get a mulligan.  You'll be very lucky if somebody will give you a chance to make up the whole race.  I thought that Jimmie Johnson would be a factor in it and he's definitely doing to have to stand in line and wait or the other folks in the Top-5 to have problems for him to get back in it.  He won't race his way back in it.  He won't finish high enough above the top four or five cars to beat them on the racetrack.  He'll have to wait for them to have trouble I think.            

Q.  What does it say, a guy has a good race, third in the points and has a legitimate chance of winning the championship, and almost the first words out of his mouth are needing a sponsor for next year.          

JACK ROUSH:  We do need a sponsor for the 17 car, I didn't hear that but that's a fact.  The 17 car is secure in Roush Fenway's livery.  We will run it with or without a sponsor next year but it will be a shame if we are not able to attract sponsorship.  We are talking to people with some interest, but this is my 24th year of being in the business and this is the most difficult time I've had.  We have gone through a transition with our sponsors from a time where they wanted to compete for a top car to where now the best sponsors want just enough of a car to be able to do their promotions and want to share the bulk of the expenses if they can't.  It's a really strange time.  I've never seen anything like this.  I'm not sure what we'll have coming out of it and it will be different than it has been in the past.           

Q.  You improved your position the last four races but the media seems to focus on other drivers for the most part.  Kyle made a joke that the Wisconsin guys are quiet most of the time.  Is that your personality or does it bother you a little bit that you get lost in the shuffle when people are talking about, oh, these Chase contenders and you are right obviously in the thick of things.           

MATT KENSETH:  Well, it doesn't really matter to me that much, what everybody thinks, we are in it or out of it or whatever.  What's important to me is trying to win races, trying to be competitive to go do the best job we can do every week.  I don't really care about wi dance-offs or how much coverage you get for doing certain things or somebody wants to say I'm boring or whatever.  I was hired to try to go win races and try to run good and that's what I try to do every week.  I take my job real serious when I'm at the racetrack, Jimmy and I and all the guys work as hard as we can on the common goal of trying to be the best and trying to win and try to run for a championship.  And that's who we are at the racetrack.           

Q.  Considering that you did bring up sponsorship, is there a sense of urgency?  Do you feel a sense of urgency even though Jack has green-lit you for next year, to do whatever is necessary to try to attract a sponsor at this point?           

MATT KENSETH:  I'm not going to get stressed out about it, especially right now in the Chase and all of the things we have going on.  I don't know really what else we can be doing except for trying to be competitive and run good.  Guys down in marketing and sales department need to figure that out and they need to figure out how to get that done and Jimmy and I will keep working on the jobs that we were hired for and I'm sure it will work out.  I've been fortunate throughout my career, we had Crown Royal over a decade, they were involved over at Roush for over eight years and been supporters of the organization and thankful for the time they have been there and how much they have helped the whole organization, not just me but they have been with a few different drivers there.  Certainly thankful for that and look forward to whatever is next.           

 Q.  Jack addressed this question about the 48's troubles changing the complexion of the Chase, what are your comments about that?           

MATT KENSETH:  I have to be honest, I don't know where anybody is at in the points really.  I don't -- you know, all we can really control, all we have any control over, and we always can't control the whole outcome of that, all we have any control of over is our own car and ourselves and what we do.  I don't really honestly spend my time to see where anybody else finishes.  We go out every week and try to beat the other 42 cars and finish as high as we can and that's how you get the most points and not really worry about what everybody else does.  Jimmy, I don't know what else happened to him, where he finished, but a few weeks ago everybody thought he was out of it finished first and second and got right back in it.           

I don't know, the whole points thing where anybody is at but certainly anything can happen at Talladega and Phoenix I think is going to be quite interesting as well.  There's a lot of racing to do, we are halfway through it, but five races is a lot of races.           

Q.  Jeff Gordon has been talking about winning under the Chase format --  does that mean anything particular?           

MATT KENSETH:  Well, if we could actually do it I could probably answer the question better afterwards, but certainly no matter what format they come up with or what points system they come up with or how they do it, your goal every year is to try to win a championship and your weekly goal is to try to show up and win and that never really changes.  Yeah, you would love to be able to win another one but I tell what you, they are hard to win and you've got to have everything go right and you have to have a lot of nights like we have had here the last two or three weeks and the next five, I think you're going to have to run in the Top-5 every week to have a shot at us, just the way I feel and the way them guys are running.           

So you know, just keep taking it one week at a time and if that happened, that would be -- obviously that would be great.  The same guys won it for five years straight and I think anybody that could beat him I think would feel good about it no matter what system or how the points or how they do that, I think they would feel good.             

Q.  Y'all picked the pit stall all the way down by turn four, just curious when you're getting down to the later stages of the races and the potential is two tires or four tires and you are the one setting the bar, does that make it more difficult that if you choose four and others do two, it's possibly going to catch you out or do you like the fact that you dictate what other people can do from that spot?           

JIMMY FENNIG:  Well, you know, picking pack down there, I like dictating what people do.  If we can control the race, then they are at our mercy, could you say.  But I don't really pay attention to what they are doing because I've got that pit stall.  I just worry what we are doing.           

Q.  Jack mentioned the strength and success of the mile-and-a-half program but three of the next five races are not mile-and-a-halves.  What do you see as the challenges for you guys in those next three tracks?           

MATT KENSETH:  Out of the first five, I don't know how many were mile-and-a-halves -- three of them were.  You know, Loudon I feel is one of my worst tracks and Jimmy got the car rolling good and we finished sixth.  That was one of our worst tracks and I felt like we did okay, so you know I guess moving forward, and I don't know what's going to happen at Talladega.  Certainly in July we had a plan and stuck to it and finished first and second, and so would be expecting a lot for it to go that smooth again and for it to all work out.  The way that tandem racing is there, hopefully him and I will both be able to finish and stay together and make something happen there again.  I don't think anybody has an advantage or disadvantage in Phoenix.  I think it's just -- who knows what's going to happen at that one and Martinsville we have been better at lately.           

I feel it's one of my worst tracks but the last few times we have actually ran pretty competitively there.  So I don't feel like our cars are limited to only being fast at the mile-and-a-half tracks.  I think certainly the tracks with more speed, more banking seems to fit maybe, you know, I don't know if it's so much our cars or style or whatever, but it seems a little easier for us maybe than some of them other tracks but I think we have been pretty competitive at most of the tracks this season at most times.           

Q.  I know you said earlier you don't pay as much attention to the points per se, but that being said, with what happened at Chicago, losing those potential points, certainly if you don't run out of fuel at the end, you are the points leader at this point.  How do you not let that hangover you or hang over the team or how do you not let that be something that is in the back of the mind at some point?           

MATT KENSETH:  Yeah, it's gone, and I mean, the only thing you can do from that is learn from it.  I know dog and everybody has been working hard at trying to get us key power and fuel mileage and tonight I think we were closer to where we needed to be if we would have been like that at Chicago.  As a team, on the 17 I don't think we could have done a thing about Chicago.  We could not have done anything better we were on the pole and leading in the last restart.  He put me in position to win.  There's just nothing else we could have done.  Would I have had to go so slow that we would have finished where we finished anyway and probably went two laps down.  We just did not have control over that.           

That's just when the caution fell and we were getting a few tenths worse mileage than most of the field and could not do anything about that.  So all you can do for those things I think is try to hopefully learn from it, you know, work on it, and try to be hopefully closer or better if the caution flag falls at that point again.            

Q.  I was asking you a question in January, and I phrased it in a way, I said, and you're this guy that contends for a couple wins a year, and you cut me off and you said, God I would kill to contend for a couple wins a year.  Now looking back, you have three wins and I just looked at your numbers what was that like in those years that you, I guess felt like you were probably in an uphill battle and maybe didn't know if you would get back to victory lane.           

MATT KENSETH:  Yeah, I probably meant more, you would kill for a couple wins.  I think we have contended for some wins, even toward the end of last year, seems like as an organization, all of our cars started running better and by the end of last year, Jimmy and I think we always understood each other but after you get to work together for a while, you work better together and know more what each other is saying, that type of thing and I felt good about things when we finished the year off last year.  We had some really good runs and we were in contention a few times.  Our finishes didn't show I don't think how good we ran.  So I felt like the potential was there, and you have to learn to enjoy these, like I said before, you don't know if you're ever going to get another win or if it's your last win or not and certainly I've gone a long time before in my career without having a win at all.  And certainly the longer you go without one, the more it weighs on your mind about if you're ever going to win another one or not.          

As you get older and as you do this longer, I think you realize how hard it really is and I think you appreciate the wins and the success probably more so than when you first start.            

Q.  How are you appreciating this championship?           

MATT KENSETH:  You need a microphone and you need to say your name and your affiliation.  You know the rules.            

Q.  You talked about appreciation in the wins but how is the appreciation in this championship running for you?  Can you appreciate it or is it just head down, hammer down, for ten weeks and that's all it is?          

MATT KENSETH:  Yeah, we are going to appreciate it.  So I might even talk Jimmy into having a drink tonight after he gets through tech.  We are still getting it free, right?  I forgot what you asked me.          

Can I appreciate it in a Chase?  Yeah, I mean, I think this is the first time we've ever won a race in the Chase actually.  You know, it seems like for some reason through the years we have been better in the beginning of the year than the end of the year so certainly you appreciate it running that good.           

Honestly I know you probably don't believe me, but I don't look at the points that much.  If you go out and do the best job you can do every week and you leave the track knowing that everybody did their best, you executed as good as you could and did what you could do on the track, you can't -- any points you gained or lost, you're not going to give them back and you're not going to get them back, the ones you lost.           

So I don't really -- I don't really look at it much.  We keep running like this every week, I think be in the mix at the end.  Take it one race at a time and I'm happy about this and thinking about Talladega and how that's all going to go and when we get there, we'll hopefully have a plan and be able to, in, this new kind of racing, get it all figured out where we have a plan and backup plan so we can be there at the end.            

Q.  What do you appreciate about this?           

MATT KENSETH:  Just winning.  It's hard to say exactly what you appreciate about it.  I appreciate being with a winning organization, with a winning team, with Jimmy on top of the box calling the races and working so hard bringing me fast race cars every week.  Just appreciate being in the situation.  You don't -- you never want to start -- when I started racing, never thought I would be racing at this level much less be competitive and win a few championships along the way.  Just appreciate being able to drive that car.            

Q.  I'm just curious what tracks are you looking forward to; and do you believe that can get you to get another win, or to get you to get to the championship win?           

MATT KENSETH:  Well, you know, if I had to look at the final five, would I probably, you know, Texas, probably look forward to Texas the most, and Homestead.  Homestead, it's weird going to Homestead because it's the last race of the year, it's a different layout, we race there one time a year and you get there and almost feels like a new track every time you go there.           

They have done a nice job with that track with the configuration.  It's a racy track and a difficult track because you have to race close to the wall most of the race.  Those are the two I'm looking forward to the most, but looking forward to the challenge of all of them and looking forward to hopefully staying on this run that we are on.            

Q.  I know you're not looking at points or looking too far ahead but if you do win the championship, do you think NASCAR will change the points system?  (Laughter).           

MATT KENSETH:  What's that?  I don't know.  Jimmie had to win five of them before they changed it.          

KERRY THARP:  You did have a Chase win:  Homestead 2007.          

MATT KENSETH:  Forgot about.  That was Robbie's last day.  Thank you for correcting me on that one.

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Posted on: October 16, 2011 12:34 am
Edited on: October 16, 2011 1:09 am

Speed Read: Charlotte

By Pete Pistone



Matt Kenseth has made a career of flying under the radar while being successful.

That description pretty much sums up his Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 

Despite winning the Bank of America 500, Kenseth’s story wasn’t completely unnoticed but was definitely the second biggest of the night. 

Jimmie Johnson’s hard crash with 25 laps to go and how the ensuing 34th place finish may have ended his sixth straight title quest was the headline story. 

Johnson’s violent wreck into the backstretch wall after losing control of his car racing for the seventh spot stunned the Charlotte crowd of over 100,000. It wasn’t until he first crawled from his battered racecar and the subsequently walked out of the infield care center thankfully uninjured did the ramifications of what happened start to sink into the Chase picture. 

After crawling back to within three points of the lead with his Kansas win a week ago, Johnson suddenly now finds himself in eighth place, a whopping 34 markers behind Carl Edwards with only five races to go. 

“We just have to keep racing,” Johnson said after limping slightly out of the care center. “That’s all there is to it. There’s five races left, and a lot can happen in five races.” 

Much has been made about how Johnson not dominating this season or the Chase has helped NASCAR gain more awareness and exposure. Many believe a more wide open playoff run without Johnson pulling away to an easy sixth straight title would be better for the sport in overall interest. 

Those folks are about to get their wish. 

Johnson will now have to write the ultimate chapter to his championship legacy and put together one of the all-time come backs in NASCAR history. 

For what it’s worth, his fellow competitors aren’t ready to write Johnson out yet. 

“It can happen to any of us, so obviously the more points we can get on the guys in the Chase the better, but that can happen to anyone,” said Edwards. “He could go on a tear and be leading the points in three to four weeks. That could happen, too. So I don’t ever count him out.” 

Whether he’s successful or not there’s one certainty – Johnson’s performance over the next five races will be anything but under the radar.



Kyle Busch 

Nearly pulled off a worst to first story but was forced to come up one position short of ending his Sprint Cup Series career October drought. But Busch remained firmly in the championship hunt with his performance and may have provided his team with just the dose of confidence and momentum it had been lacking in the early going of the playoffs.

Kasey Kahne 

Kahne is making a habit out of running upfront and challenging for wins despite not being a factor in the championship. Made a tremendous come back late in Saturday night’s race to come home with another impressive Top 5 finish and stay in the picture as a potential race winner before the season runs out. 

Kevin Harvick 

Somehow managed to finish sixth for a second straight week despite a multitude of problems not in the least of which an bad handling car. But Harvick remained squarely in the title fight trailing Carl Edwards by a mere five points and heading to Talladega, where he has been a dominant force in the last two seasons.



Brad Keselowski 

A rough weekend all the way around for Keselowski who qualified 26th and was stuck in the middle of the field all night long. A strange turn of events for the Blue Deuce team after a strong showing at Charlotte in May and a good run at the 1.5-mile in Kansas last Sunday. Keselowski’s Cinderella story may be coming to an end after Saturday night. 

Dale Earnhardt Jr.  

Even the most loyal Junior fan has to see his chances at winning a championship are over after his dismal night in Charlotte. Earnhardt had a middle of the pack car to begin with and had things compounded by a loose wheel and return trip to pit road in the closing stages. About all Earnhardt can do in the final five races of the year is throw complete caution to the wind and shoot for victories since points are meaningless at this point. 

Jimmie Johnson 

His violent crash handed Johnson a 34th place finish, the worst Chase result since he was credited with a 39th at Texas two years ago when he was involved in an early incident with Sam Hornish Jr. Johnson sunk 35 points out of the lead and now has the biggest challenge of his championship reign ahead in the final five races of the season.



(Choice comments and communications from drivers and crew chiefs) 

"Go ahead and cross your fingers and rub your lucky charms. That's about it right here." – Kurt Busch 

"We'll get it back, we'll get it back. We've got plenty of time. We're plenty fast." – Greg Biffle after going a lap down

"I'd like to disassemble the front suspension and throw it in the lake." – Dale Earnhardt Jr. 

"I don't know what the hell to tell you." – Jeff Gordon to crew chief Alan Gustafson on his early race problems

"That's a reminder to hold on to everything.'' – Carl Edwards to his crew after watching Brian Vickers drag a jack out of his pit stall on an early pit stop 



On a scale of one to five "Pistone Pistons" I’ll give Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 a three. The early going was pretty uneventful and the night had the look of yet another fuel mileage strategy race. But the latter stages were filled with side by side racing after several restarts and tremendous drama regarding the championship picture in the aftermath of Johnson’s hard crash and the come back performances by Busch and Harvick in particular. Like most sports events it’s how things finish that matters and the Charlotte race provided a very memorable ending.



What most believe to be the biggest wild card of the championship race is on deck next Sunday with the Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. But there’s another new wrinkle to the restrictor plate race in the form of new rules implemented by NASCAR. Larger restrictor plates and a tweak of the engine cooling system were put into play by the sanctioning body in an effort to break up the two-car tandems that have infiltrated racing at Talladega and Daytona. Based on a recent survey at Daytona, the majority of fans don’t like the new style racing. So the guessing game is on regarding how the new policies will impact the competition – and in turn the Chase picture.


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Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:15 am

Kenseth lands Charlotte sponsor

Posted by Pete Pistone

From News Release

CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 11, 2011) --- Roush Fenway Racing is proud to announce a new primary sponsorship for 2003 Sprint Cup Series Champion, Matt Kenseth, and his No. 17 team on behalf of Fluidmaster®  for this weekend’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  The sponsorship is the first of its kind for Fluidmaster® and is a true testament to the appeal of sponsorship in NASCAR serving as a way to connect companies with customers.

“It’s always exciting to introduce a new partner to the sport,” said Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Fluidmaster® Ford.  “It shows that companies recognize the loyalty in our sport between sponsors and customers, and we’re proud to have Fluidmaster® joining the No. 17 team this weekend at Charlotte.” 

After researching the opportunity to participate in this weekend’s Sprint Cup Series race, Fluidmaster® recognized the strong appeal of motorsports racing among its key professional plumbing customers as well as do-it-yourselfers worldwide.

“It will be thrilling for our loyal customers, employees and other business partners to watch Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Fluidmaster® Ford race to the finish line Saturday night,” said Robert Anderson Schoepe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fluidmaster, Inc.  “This event symbolizes the global race we are in to maintain our industry leadership position, and we’re in it to win it.”

“This event is also significant for us as it coincides with the introduction of our innovative water saving DUO FLUSH™ line of products,” said Scott McDonald, VP of Marketing for Fluidmaster. 

DUO FLUSH™ converts existing toilet installations into water saving dual flush systems, capable of saving up to 45% of the water normally used to flush liquid waste. Fluidmaster’s new design features easy adjust dials conveniently located on top of the valve which allow the user to set the optimal water usage for their specific toilet.  The user can then simply lift up the handle for a half flush or push down for a full flush.  Additional details, including an online calculator to estimate annual water and dollar savings for specific home conditions can be found via smart phones or computers at www.duoflush.com.

Kenseth has achieved two wins, nine top-five finishes and 17 top-10 finishes this season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series within the first 30 races of the year, and is currently fifth in the Chase driver point standings. 

The premiere of the No. 17 Fluidmaster® Ford Fusion will take place on October 15, 2011 for the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the fifth race of the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup.  The Bank of America 500 will be broadcast on ABC Saturday, October 15th with television coverage beginning at 7:30 pm EDT and radio coverage provided by the Performance Racing Network.

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Posted on: September 26, 2011 9:58 pm

Matt Kenseth's wife involved in practice crash

Posted by Pete Pistone

Katie Kenseth, wife of NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth, was treated and released from a Charlotte-area hospital after crashing during a practice session for an upcoming charity race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

WCNC-TV in Charlotte posted this report:

CONCORD, N.C. – The wife of NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth left Charlotte Motor Speedway by stretcher early Monday evening after a crash at the race track during a practice session for a charity race next month.

Katie Kenseth crashed in to what typically is the pit stop wall in a driving school bandolero vehicle after taking a sharp turn.  Her husband rushed to check on her, and emergency track officials loaded her onto a stretcher.

Other NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Casey Mears, Michael McDowell and David Ragan were also in attendance to watch their wives and girlfriends practice for the inaugural Better Half Dash on October 15.

The charity race will benefit Speedway Children’s Charities and Motor Racing Outreach and will feature a 25-lap race on the front stretch quarter-mile oval before the Bank of American 500.

Charlotte Motor Speedway tells NewsChannel 36 Kenseth has been treated and released from a nearby hospital.

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Posted on: September 17, 2011 6:26 pm

Chicagoland pole to Matt Kenseth

By Pete Pistone

JOLIET, Ill. - Matt Kenseth will lead the field to green in Sunday's Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. The Roush Fenway Racing driver topped Saturday's qualifying session to set the lineup for the first race of this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Paul Menard will start outside the front row with Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Carl Edwards the Top 5.


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Posted on: September 14, 2011 3:41 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 5:39 pm

Chase for the Cup predictions

Should Jimmie Johnson start making room for a sixth championship trophy? (US Presswire)

CBSSports.com NASCAR reporter Pete Pistone and NASCAR producer Brian De Los Santos take their best guess as to how the final Chase standings will shake out.

Pete Pistone
After a regular season that produced 15 different winners including five drivers taking their first-career Sprint Cup Series checkered flags, NASCAR is ready for the 2011 edition of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

This year's 12-driver field accounted for 21 wins in the season's first 26 races and includes five former series champions.

Jimmie Johnson is set to take aim at an unprecedented sixth straight championship, but in a season that has produced as much unpredictability as this one has, the Hendrick Motorsports driver could be ripe for finally being unseated. Johnson only has one win to his credit entering the playoff run, the fewest of any of his previous seven Chase appearances, providing some of his competitors with a glimmer of hope the dominance may be fading.

It starts at Chicagoland Speedway and wraps up with Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, so let the Chase begin:

1. Jimmie Johnson: It's good to be the king, and for anyone else to ascend to the throne they have to rise up and take the crown. There hasn't been a driver able to do that in the last five seasons and it won't happen this year either. Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus know how to play the Chase game better than anyone. They put together a solid if not dominating regular season that may have been down on victories from previous years, but was not short on the key factor in winning NASCAR titles -- consistency. His feud with Kurt Busch may make this one a little more interesting, but at the end of the 10-week Chase, the story will be a six-pack for Johnson.

2. Jeff Gordon: The resurgence of Gordon this season has been one of the year's pleasant surprises. While great attention was given to team owner Rick Hendrick's decision to pair Steve Letarte with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the organization's massive realignment at the end of last season, Gordon and new head wrench Alan Gustafson have been remarkable. After winning the second race of the year at Phoenix, Gordon did cool off during the middle stretch of the schedule. After dropping as far back as 17th in the standings, he roared back and may have the most momentum of any driver heading into the Chase.

3. Kevin Harvick: He came down to the wire last season and just short of ending Johnson's title run. So Harvick feels there's some unfinished business to take care of in 2011. He was very strong in the opening segment of the season, rattling off three wins in short order by pouncing on late opportunities. But there were some stumbles in the regular season and Harvick endured a summer of some discontent especially with his pit crew's performance. Things seem to have been righted and the No. 29 team is a cohesive bunch once again. RCR having only one car in the Chase may also prove to be beneficial to Harvick's effort with the organizations complete resources at his disposal.

4. Kyle Busch: The No. 1 seed in the Chase by virtue of his four wins and place in the point standings, Busch has his best shot ever to win a Sprint Cup championship. His biggest hurdle will again be himself and overcoming the emotion that still gets the best of him at times. However, while there have been outbursts in his Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series efforts, Busch has been relatively quiet in that department on the Cup side. The nagging issues of Joe Gibbs Racing's engine department are another challenge Busch will need to conquer, but there's no reason to believe he won't be right in the thick of the championship hunt.

5. Carl Edwards: The preseason pick by many (including me) to win the title, Edwards has had a strange year that was overshadowed by his contract situation with Roush Fenway Racing and his future career plans. Now that he has settled into a long-term deal at RFR, Edwards and crew chief Bob Osborne have no outside distractions and obstacles to get in the way of a full assault on the crown. Edwards has been very good in the weeks leading up to the Chase including a solid second-place outing at the regular-season finale in Richmond and will look to ride that momentum to a hot start in the playoffs.

6. Matt Kenseth: The quintessential sleeper is back in the Chase and has put together a typically consistent year to punch his ticket to the playoffs. Kenseth's 14 top-10 finishes, seven top 5's and two victories were one of his strongest regular-season performances in recent years. He'll have to get past a few tracks inside the Chase -- such as Martinsville -- that have been challenges during his Cup career to make a serious charge for a second title.

7. Kurt Busch: Busch was the only driver to stay inside the top 10 of the point standings all through the regular season. But the bad news is he fell from the lead to eighth place after enduring a summer stretch filled with struggles, bad luck and high emotion that helped rekindle a feud with Jimmie Johnson. Busch ended the regular campaign with a pair of good runs in Atlanta and Richmond but the question of his ability to keep emotions in check while also dealing with the Johnson rivalry put the Penske Racing driver's championship hopes seriously in doubt.

8. Brad Keselowski: The other Penske driver comes into his first Chase as a bona fide underdog but one many feel can pull off the impossible and make a serious challenge for the title. Keselowski's performance since early June has been nothing short of spectacular and there may not be another team in the garage area that has as much confidence or believes in its driver more than the Blue Deuce bunch. Keselowski won over a lot of fans in the last three months and is looking to prove a lot of his previous detractors wrong.

9. Tony Stewart: Not the season Stewart had hoped for by any means, but the two-time champion was still good enough when it counted to make it back to the Chase. Things appeared to be headed back in the right direction as the regular season came to a close, but Stewart's team doesn't have the look of a championship contender and won't be a serious challenger unless it can eliminate the roller coaster ride results that have dominated the 2011 season.

10. Denny Hamlin: He pushed Johnson to the brink of the championship last season but has suffered through a disappointing follow-up season punctuated by engine problems and other issues that forced Hamlin to use a wild card spot to make it back to the Chase. The switch to TRD engines should be a plus for Hamlin, but a return to the form he displayed last year-- a combo platter of consistency and winning -- in short order is imperative for the JGR No. 11 team to have any shot at somehow challenging for the title.

11. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Earnhardt's somewhat surprising start to the year began to fade away as the season wore on and by the end of the regular campaign he was barely hanging on to a spot in the Chase. He made it after a very nervous night in Richmond and perhaps the fresh start will be what the Hendrick Motorsports driver needs. Crew chief Steve Letarte promised to change his conservative approach of just trying to make the Chase to a winning formula once the playoffs began so it will be interesting to see if there is any difference in the team's strategy over the next 10 races. Of any one of the dozen Chasers, Earnhardt needs to get off to a good start and not dig himself into a hole.

12. Ryan Newman: The other half of the Stewart-Haas Racing duo made the Chase for the fourth time in his career and put together a nice and consistent regular season. However despite his one win and 13 top 10 finishes, Newman had only a pair of consecutive top fives in the season's first 26 races. He's not particularly strong on 1.5-mile tracks, and with the likes of Chicagoland, Kansas, Charlotte, Texas and Homestead on the Chase schedule, it doesn't bode well for the driver of the No. 39 Chevrolet.

Brian De Los Santos
Ho hum, I'm picking Jimmie Johnson to win it all. I gave up picking against Johnson a couple of years ago. It's a lesson in futility.

What GOOD reason is there to pick against him? If you're counting on the law of averages, that law clearly doesn't apply to the 48 team.

Except for Chicagoland, the Chase tracks are the same as they ever were. The same tracks he has shown time and time again the ability to dominate. And, quite frankly, he's not too shabby at Chicagoland, with seven top 10s in nine visits.

It's inevitable that he's going to fall short one of these years (isn't it?). He's not going to win titles until the day he retires (will he?). It's just not possible (is it?). But with five straight titles and another strong regular season in the books, I don't see how I can predict that Johnson's rein is over.

1. Jimmie Johnson: What indication has the 48 team given that they won't be competitive during the Chase? Sure he has just one win, but he did finish second in the final regular-season points. As we've learned over the past five years, Johnson and the 48 team are built for the Chase. The only thing I could see spoiling the party is if Kurt Busch makes it his purpose to keep Johnson from capturing a sixth straight title by any means necessary. However, Busch did say they've worked it out and will cool the antics during the Chase. I'm not quite buying it.

2. Jeff Gordon: In terms of wins, he's already having his best season since winning six times in 2007. The 24 team appears to be on top of their game heading into the Chase, with three consecutive top fives and six finishes of sixth or better in the past seven races.

3. Carl Edwards: He looks primed for a run at the title. With 10 races to go, he already has third most top fives (12) for a season in his career. He takes three straight top 10s and two consecutive top fives into the Chase.

4. Matt Kenseth: It's so easy to undervalue Kenseth. You'd hardly know that he won twice and finished sixth in the final regular-season standings. He's not flashy. He doesn't have a personality that screams for attention. His strength is consistency. The two tracks he won at were Dover and Texas, both of which will be revisited down the stretch.

5. Brad Keselowski: He has come a long way. He was 25th in the standings at the end of May, and over the course of the second half of the season he staged a furious rally, just missing out on finishing the regular season in the top 10. He was especially hot over the past two months, pulling out two wins, four top fives and six top 10s the past seven races. I don't think it was a fluke and expect him to remain competitive throughout the final 10 races.

6. Kyle Busch: This isn't the first time Busch has been a regular-season wonder boy, but for all his talent, he's never been able to carry it out through the Chase, with his best points finish (5th) coming in 2007. This very well could be the year he puts it together, but I just have this feeling that at the first sign of trouble the downward spiral will begin.

7. Kevin Harvick: I don't know what to make of Harvick. He's tied for the season lead with four wins, including a dominant effort in the regular-season finale at Richmond, but his 13 top 10s ranks seventh. For much of the summer the 29 car was a non-factor. In fact, Richmond was the first race he had even led a lap in since Daytona at the beginning of July, a span of nine races. The win was one of only two top five finishes Harvick had in the last 13 races.

8. Kurt Busch: It has been a wildly inconsistent season for the No. 2 team and Busch has flown off the handle a number of times. Like his brother Kyle, the question is whether he can keep his cool in times of distress. He has run well the past couple of weeks with back-to-back top fives, but that comes off the heels of three straight finish of 17th or worse.

9. Ryan Newman: Did you know Newman has the fifth-most top fives (8) this season? That's more than Harvick, Kenseth or Kurt Busch. He's also one of only two Chase drivers -- Edwards is the other -- without a DNF. Still, his avg. finish of 13.1 is just eighth best.

10. Tony Stewart: I thought this season might be somewhat of a struggle for the 14 team, and despite the Chase berth, it has been. He's without a win and has just three top fives (his career low is nine) and 11 top 10s (his career low is 16). If there's any good news, it's that he does have three top 10s in the past four races. Maybe the team is putting things together at the right time.

11. Denny Hamlin: Prior to the season, if there was one driver people thought might unseat Johnson as champion this season, it was Hamlin. But he hasn't come close to living up to expectations, needing a wild-card to make the Chase. There's been signs of life in recent weeks with three consecutive top 10s for the first time this season.

12. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: He hung on to a Chase berth by the skin of his teeth. The first half of the season saw Earnhardt in position to challenge for the points lead with seven top 10 finishes. But over the past 13 races he has managed just two top 10s. Maybe the team was just trying to play it safe to ensure a Chase berth, but even if they were holding back a bit, I don't see him as a championship contender.

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Posted on: September 6, 2011 11:56 pm

Chase clinch scenarios for Richmond

With only one race remaining until the 12-driver lineup for Chase is set, nine drivers have clinched their bids -- Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Brad Keselowski.

Here are the clinch scenarios for the final three Chase spots.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Earnhardt is currently 25 points ahead of 11th place. Regardless of any other driver’s finish, Earnhardt will clinch if he finishes:
-- 20th or better
-- 21st or better and leads at least one lap
-- 22nd or better and leads the most laps
Tony Stewart
Stewart is currently 23 points ahead of 11th place. Regardless of any other driver’s finish, Stewart will clinch if he finishes:
-- 18th or better
-- 19th or better and leads at least one lap
-- 20th or better and leads the most laps
A number of different finishes affect the wild card:
Denny Hamlin

-- With a victory, Hamlin will earn at least a wild card spot. He can still mathematically finish top 10 in points.

Paul Menard

-- With a victory, Menard would earn a wild card spot.

Marcos Ambrose and David Ragan

-- With a victory AND entry into the top 20, Ambrose or Ragan would earn a wild-card spot. Both drivers are currently outside the top 20. Ambrose is seven points outside the top 20; Ragan is 20 points outside the top 20.
All drivers through 23rd place in the series standings remain eligible for a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Aside from the scenarios listed above, those without an already-clinched Chase spot need a win, a top 20 spot and various finishes from other drivers to earn a Chase spot.

Source: NASCAR

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Posted on: August 19, 2011 2:15 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 2:35 pm

Matt Kenseth tops opening Michigan practice

By Pete Pistone

BROOKLYN, Mich. - Matt Kenseth led the way in Friday's opening practice at Michigan International Speedway. The Roush Fenway Racing driver turned a lap of 188.813 mph to lead the 46 cars that took part in the session.

Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle, Mark Martin and David Ragan rounded out the Top 5 to give the Roush team three drivers inside the first five.

Sprint Cup Series qualifying for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 is set later Friday afternoon.


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