Tag:Matt Kenseth
Posted on: May 26, 2011 4:32 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2011 9:55 pm

Drivers comment on Kyle Busch speeding ticket

Kyle Busch

What is your reaction to the speeding ticket?
"I'm certainly sorry for my actions and for my lack of judgment.  This is something that I can take and learn from and hopefully move forward and not let happen again."

How do you look back on the speeding incident?
"I'm certainly sorry that it happened and my actions led me to speed.  It was a lack of judgment and all I can do is apologize to the public, my friends, my fans, my sponsors and everybody, look at this experience as a learning experience, and to move forward."

Is it difficult to have a learning experience in the public eye?
"It's certainly challenging sometimes with things you have to think about and of course actions that you may cause yourself. Thankfully, I've got some good people around me that can help me through these experiences and help me learn from them. Take the good from it and take the bad from it and just be able to apply that for later on down the road."

Can you make a case for yourself?
"I'm sorry I'm not the jurisdiction to make a case.  I leave that to the court systems and everything else like that.  This matter will be handled through that as best as we can handle it and as best as the authorities decide to handle it.  I have the utmost respect for the authorities across the United States of America that try to keep all of us safe every day.  Of course, being Memorial Day weekend with all the men and women serving our country to keep us safe as well too.  It's not in my place to decide what does or does not happen."

Has Joe Gibbs Racing given you any penalties?
"We have certainly discussed some things.  We're working through the process of that now and looking at what might be done later on down the road."

Have you personally spoken with your team owner, your sponsors and your neighbors about the speeding incident?
"I have certainly had discussions with Mr. Coach Gibbs (team owner) as well as Joe Gibbs Racing and my sponsors as well too.  It's just a matter of showing your utmost respect for them and what they do for you.  That they believe in you to do what you can in order to represent them well and obviously I had a lack in judgment and just made a mistake.  I'm sorry for making that mistake, but as far as any of the people that have made comments or anything like that, I don't have a relationship with any of those people.  Unfortunately, I don't go door-to-door knocking on the door and commenting to them.  All I can do is say my piece here and let it be."

How much have you thought about the potential of what could have happened on Tuesday?
"There's if, ands or buts to a lot of different things in life.  Fortunately, there was no one hurt, but that doesn't make any kind of excuse for what happened and for my lack in judgment and for what I did.  Like I said, there's a lot of processes to be thought about here. There's some learning experiences to be taken from this and the best I can do is just try to move along past it for this weekend and take my course of action during the week in what might lie ahead."

What did you mean when you said the Lexus was, 'just a toy?'
"Well it was a car that was on loan to me from Lexus and it wasn't that it was a toy, it's a high performance vehicle and that shouldn't be taken lightly.  Should be driven with caution.  Obviously, I didn't have caution and I had a lack in judgment and there's probably a reason why on TV commercials and such they always show at the bottom, professional driver, closed course.  Mine was not that.  Again, I apologize sincerely to all those affected and that all I can do is try to make sure it doesn't happen again and that I make sure that lack of judgment doesn't overcome me."

Kurt Busch

“Talking with Kyle (Busch) about it, I feel like he definitely understands the mistake that he made and that speed is supposed to be saved for here at the race track and putting on a good show.  All of us drivers have a responsibility as being role models to what we can teach our youth on the roadways.  There are posted speed limits and rules and laws; that’s what we have to do.  Whatever comes of it, he has his court date and things will be ironed out.  He’ll learn from the situation and be a better person from it.  I think I was 26-years old when I got put through my big episode and it definitely changes the way that you look at things.  There’s a responsibility that all of us have.”

Jimmie Johnson

“I think consistency is the key in whatever other issues that have taken place off the track. There should be a precedent there and that’s how they engage and interact. I don’t know how to really form an opinion on that. You’ve got to get into the fine print of the rule book. I think I’m learning a little bit through this as well. You don’t need a valid driver’s license to compete, is that correct? It’s in there and when you have leagues and players unions and things there are penalties that are usually passed along and make sense because you are part of a league, we’re not in that situation. I don’t know. I don’t have an answer and I’m kind of watching and learning as we go here just to see what it is.”

“Yeah, we as drivers aren’t necessarily wired the same but I’d have to say anybody that buys a high performance vehicle gets in it and stands on the gas. Maybe not in the same situation but that’s why you buy whatever car. I’ve always joked with my friends and I have a collection of old cars that I cruise around in because I’ve always felt if I have an exotic sports car I would be doing stupid things and I don’t need to do that. I drove my ’49 Chevy Step-side pickup here today and I don’t think I broke 65 on the way up, just kind of cruising with the windows down and enjoyed the ride. It’s tempting especially when we have the skill sets that we do as drivers and you get a high performance car and you just want to see how it stacks up. Man I guess everybody that has a high performance car stands on the throttle at some point. I’m not trying to justify what he did, but we can all look at ourselves in the mirror and know that we’ve wondered what it felt like to stand on the gas pedal.”

“For me there is certainly a huge sensation of speed on the track and some tracks like Darlington or Dover really exaggerate that sensation. But for me, it’s about passing someone. As long as I’m going by someone, if they are doing 35 and I’m doing 37 I seem to be pretty content there and haven’t had many issues with the law.”

Ryan Newman

“If you don’t have to have a driver’s license to compete in the series, then what happens on the street has no affect as to what happens on the race track in my opinion. That’s what you hold a driver’s license for. If he’s charged criminally, then that’s a different situation, right? Versus being charged with a driver-related issue. Maybe that makes sense, I don’t know.”

“My point about the license part of it is if you don’t have to have a driver’s license to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, then, no matter what, it’s DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) related in my opinion. If he would have clobbered a mail box at 128, then that is a Federal situation. There are different ways of looking at it is my point. If something was to happen to it…it is just a private car incident that has no affect on his eligibility to drive a Sprint Cup car or a Nationwide car. But, to me, it is a very gray area in reference to the police officer and what he did as to how he got away as clean as he did. I think that is probably your judgment question. If it was you running 128 in a 45, would he have treated you the same way? Every officer has to answer that question a different way depending on who he is dealing with.”

“It’s just as you said. It’s a judgment situation where I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. In multiple people’s eyes, is Joe Gibbs going to react to it in the same way that M&M’s or Interstate or anybody else does, I don’t know. That’s not for me to judge. I believe that he made a big mistake, he openly admitted that he made a big mistake from what I read although it sounded like somebody else wrote it and not him. We’re supposed to be professional race car drivers and by being professional race car drivers we don’t make stupid mistakes like that on the road. That’s the way I look at it.”

Jeff Gordon

Do you think NASCAR should penalize Kyle Busch for his speeding violation the other day?
"No, I don't.  You know, I think it's pretty clear if they feel like it's detrimental to the sport, then maybe they should or could.  But in my opinion that's not detrimental to the sport.  I think it's more detrimental to Kyle than anything else.  I think it's something that should be handled separately away from the sport."

Is there an urge for somebody in your profession to just want to drive fast all the time no matter where you're at?
"I've always kind of had the approach of I get it out of my system on the weekends.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I don't want you to think I'm perfect.  I've been speeding before.  But certainly the way I look at it today as a parent, I look at things different.

"I do think of the 'what if's.'  I told somebody this the other day.  If I'm going down a fairly narrow country road and I see houses and yards, I think of that ball running out in the street and that kid chasing after it.  That's because I'm a parent.  You think a little bit more responsibly."

Greg Biffle


“That’s a loaded question (laughing).  In my younger days I have driven a little faster, probably, than I should have a time or two.  I never got pulled over or never got a ticket for doing that, but the fastest I’ve gotten stopped is maybe 85 or 90 – something like that.  I think I got pulled over going 90 out in California.  I was on my way to the desert one time, going through the desert with tumbleweeds and was on Highway 8 or something like that.  That was probably the fastest I ever got a ticket for, but there is obviously a time and a place for going a little bit faster than we should at times.  You just have to watch your P’s and Q’s.” 


“I do.  I will always make sure I take advantage of the nine miles an hour over the speed limit, but, beyond that, you have to be careful how fast you go.  Certainly, you don’t want to cause an accident because that’s probably the worst thing to have in the newspaper being a NASCAR driver, so you have to take a little precaution when you’re on the road around other cars.” 

Matt Kenseth

"My first reaction is I was wondering if he was in jail.  My second reaction is, when I heard where it was, I thought it was probably a little extreme for that road, but, other than that, I didn’t think about it.  I’m glad somebody didn’t get hurt.”  

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“Sometimes you go a little fast, even away from the race track I guess. I’ve been guilty of the same thing myself just been lucky enough not to get caught.”

“I don’t really know if I got that fast, I didn’t know if we had enough straight road in North Carolina to get going that quick, but, apparently there is a piece somewhere (LAUGHS).”

Kevin Harvick

“I think some people are their own worst enemy when it comes to being responsible as a person or as a business person or anything that comes with life’s responsibilities. For me, they won’t even let me drive down the highway because I drive five miles per hour over the speed limit and it tends to take us a lot longer to get to places. Since I’ve been about 16 or 17 years old, I haven’t been into really driving fast down the highway or anything reckless on the road. It’s not really the place to do that. I don’t really know how to answer that to be honest with you because I’ve never driven a vehicle 120 plus down the highway. It could put a lot of people in a bad situation and I think Newton’s article probably touched the outcomes of how things could work this week.”

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Posted on: May 15, 2011 6:57 pm
Edited on: May 16, 2011 11:06 am

Dover FedEx 400 stat pack

Posted by Pete Pistone

  Matt Kenseth, Driver Of The #17 Wiley X Sunglasses Ford, Crosses


Matt Kenseth won the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks, his 20th victory in 411 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.

With the victory, Kenseth moves into a tie for 34th on the all-time wins list with Speedy Thompson.

This is his second victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2011. His first win this season came at Texas.

This is his second victory and 16th top-10 finish in 25 races at Dover International Speedway.

His last  Dover win came in 2006.Mark Martin (second) posted his 31st top-10 finish in 50 races at Dover International Speedway.

It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2011.

Marcos Ambrose (third) posted his first top-10 finish in six races at Dover International Speedway.

Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 24 points over Jimmie Johnson. 

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Posted on: May 15, 2011 6:46 pm
Edited on: May 16, 2011 11:06 am

Matt Kenseth and team post Dover comments

Posted by Pete Pistone

Dover race winner Matt Kenseth, crew chief Jimmy Fennig and team owner Jack Roush met the media after their win in Sunday's FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks:

THE MODERATOR: We welcome the winner of today's race, Matt Kenseth. Joining him are Jack Roush, owner, and Jimmy Fennig, crew chief.           

Matt, this is your 20th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win, tying Speedy Thompson for 34th on the all-time list, second of the season, first coming in Texas in April.           

Talk a little bit about the race, the strategies going into it and the finish.           

MATT KENSETH: Obviously, it was a great day for us. It was pretty exciting for me to be able to win here at Dover, especially the way we did it. It seems like we've lost more that way than people getting in front of us, then we won. Really turned out good. I was happy we were able to pull it off.        

The race was really a struggle for us. When the clouds were out, before that rubber built up on the track, I thought we had one of the best cars on the track. We were pretty fast. I think we drove to maybe third or fourth from 24th where we started, felt real good about things. Then all of a sudden the sun came out, the rubber started building on the track. Our handling got way, way off.           

Jimmy made some great adjustments today, made some great pit calls under green, short-pitting a little bit, getting us ahead of the competition. Got us five or six spots, that got us into position to get two tires at the end of the race.           

THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.           

Q. Matt, how difficult was it to get to Mark and how difficult was it to pass him?            

MATT KENSETH: Well, it was difficult. The hardest thing today for me, besides that rubber building up under green, was I don't know if they couldn't or wouldn't or how it worked, but they really didn't get the rubber off the track before a restart. What would happen, if you were stuck on the bottom, the leaders took off, no matter where you restart, you get that stuff stuck on your tires, you had to run through it for two laps, it was so much slower. One time I restarted third, and I think we were back to eighth by the second lap. I couldn't get up.           

Marcos had a bad restart, got us way back there. I was really concerned about that. Mark took the top. I was hoping he took the bottom because he likes to run the bottom. I would have felt a little better about it. But I got behind him and I was able to run up on him, with the new tires, be able to get the gas down that early, were able to get a good run on him            

Q. At the end there, did you have a bit of safety in numbers, Mark staying out, creating a bit of a barrier against the others?           

MATT KENSETH: That definitely helps. You know, I think that was probably part of our thinking with four, is we were going to come out, most likely, behind the three or four guys we were running behind. A few guys were going to sprinkle in there on two. That would have been tough to do in that many laps.           

That always helps. It's always nice to have a little buffer because the other guys that got two were all running behind us. I felt like we probably had a better car than most guys that got two if I could just get a clean restart. So, yeah, that helps.           

Q. Matt, I noticed on days like this, track position is so important. As you mentioned, you were strong early. I noticed that you were very strong back in the pack early in the race. I didn't notice so much that you fell off earlier. What I mean is, was the whole key to your race the starting position? Should you by rights have been running up there with the guys that run 324 laps?           

MATT KENSETH: There were times in the race where I felt like we had one of the best cars. There were times, Jimmy knows better than me on lap times, but a 7th to 14th or 15th place car. For a while, it felt like we fell back. There were times in the race where we ran really good, other times we didn't. In the end, they were able to make some good adjustments to get it better at the end.           

The Goodyear tires are great. Didn't have any failures or anything today. The last couple years, we talked to them about, when it builds the rubber up, it makes it hard to pass. I knew one of the front three cars most likely on the restart was going to win the race. The rubber would build up and made it almost impossible to pass. At least for me it was compared to early in the race.           

The last few races here you've seen that track position was pretty important at the end of the race.           

Q. Matt, you were saying earlier that the call for two tires was not finalized until you were up on the jack. How close were you to the point of no return there two versus four?           

MATT KENSETH: Jimmy would be able to answer that one better. We came in. I know we were both thinking about the same thing. In the back of my head, I was thinking, ‘Man, I should almost just drive by pit road and start in the front, see what happens.’ But I saw the guys in front of me.           

I looked at everybody in the mirror, I saw everybody on the apron, I thought it wasn't going to be good for me if I did that and restarted and finished about 15th.           

We came down pit road. As I slid into the stall, I said, Jimmy, are you sure you don't want to try two?           

He didn't even hesitate. He's like, ‘Two tires, two tires,’ in plenty of time before the guys took off. It was not problem. It went smooth, almost like we planned it.           

Q. What kind of confidence do you have now with two victories knowing that those wildcard positions are out there in case you need them to make the Chase?           

MATT KENSETH: I mean, it's going to be important. You want to have the wins to have the wildcard if you have to fall back on that. I think Jimmy's goal, Jack's and mine and the team's is not to worry about that. That's the last thing on my mind right now. On my mind is to try to be up there and leading on points going into the Chase, trying to make the Chase, be in championship form, be able to put together some more wins and go out there and race for a championship. We don't want to slide in off of wins if we're 18th in points or something. We want to go out there and race like this every week.            

Q. Jimmy, could you answer the question about will this allow you to take even more chances now that you kind of know you have two wins, get a chance at the wildcard? Matt, would it be ironic if you got in the Chase on a wildcard on wins after it seemed like the whole Chase was set up after your 2003 championship?           

JIMMY FENNIG: Well, I guess I look at things different. You know, I'm the type person that we're here to win and that's what it's about. If you're not winning and you go into the Chase, your team ain't able to win races or your equipment's not good enough to win races, to me you don't belong there. It's all about winning in my book.           

MATT KENSETH: I was thinking about the win thing a little bit, not necessarily because of the Chase or how they created or anything like that. Until five weeks ago, it's been two years since we won. When I see that, honestly because we haven't won in a while, you start thinking it's not a 12-person thing anymore, it's a top-10 in points, which is fine, so we got to make sure we're in the top 10.           

So it's nice we're able to do both. Hopefully we can be solidly in the top 10 and have some wins at the same time.            

Q. Matt, I guess looking at the last three races, what kind of momentum were you looking for here to try to regain that momentum? Was there a point early in the race where you thought, This is a long race, we can get back up there? That pit stop kind of paid off, this is where you hope to be to try to take a gamble like that.           

MATT KENSETH: Yeah, I mean, the last three weeks have been really frustrating for me. I don't think I've done a very good job. Talladega, I don't think we can do anything about that. I mean, that was just dumb luck. Certainly at Richmond, being involved in that wreck, if I would have been a little bit more aware of my surroundings, I could probably have figured out how to avoid that.           

Certainly last week, too, even though the car beside me was low and all that, I didn't do a very good job there. Kind of ran into the side of the 9 a little bit. Had a slow leak in the tire. Half hour into the Southern 500, we're three laps down. The last three weeks have been really frustrating.           
But our cars have been really fast. At Richmond, I know for sure it's been the best car I had at Richmond since they introduced the COT car, which is really encouraging.           

If you're running good, you feel a little bit better about it. It gives you some hope you can have days like today.            

Q. Did anybody realistically have anything for the 33 or 48 if that last caution hadn't come out and brought pit strategy into play?          

MATT KENSETH: I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. Couldn't really see them, so I don't know what was going on up there.          

But I will add to that. Nobody had anything for the 99 last week when the caution came out either.           

THE MODERATOR: Jack, tell us your thoughts on Matt's second win of the season?           

JACK ROUSH: I actually wanted to comment on that last question. I'll start with that.           

If anybody was watching the lap checkers, Matt drove from 23rd to the top five. As hard as it is to pass, as hard as it is to deal with this Car of Tomorrow, struggling there, when I saw that, I figured the 17 was the equal of the cars running up front based on my look at it.           

They didn't back into this thing. They deserved to be up there. Jimmy made the gutsy -- between the two of them, they made the gutsy call for two tires. As many times as they've been burned by it, I was surprised they did that.           

It's just my pleasure generally to be with this team. This is my 24th year in Cup. I didn't start till I was 46 years old, when I started my Cup program. Of course, that was Mark Martin. When I was watching Matt and Mark race out there today.           

MATT KENSETH: How old are you?           

JACK ROUSH: I was 46 years old.           

MATT KENSETH: I was just trying to count (laughter).           

JACK ROUSH: At any rate, the reason that Matt Kenseth came to my attention back years ago was that Mark said that Matt was a guy that asked the right questions, that had the right attitude about his racing, and he was a really good person that I needed to have a conversation with and see if we could get him involved with our program.          

Matt and Mark have got that connection past the race teams out of mutual respect. I was sure that was going to be okay for both of them. The thing that had me concerned, I was afraid they were going to find themselves at loggerheads, You go first, no, you go first, no, you go first.           

I was afraid either one of them be afraid to race as hard as they need to, or the other one to let the issue be resolved.            

Q. Jimmy and Matt, can you talk about your relationship. From what I understand, Matt made that call. How long did it take you guys to get comfortable with each other before Matt could make that call instead of Jimmy?           

MATT KENSETH: Jimmy made the call. I was just suggesting it. He called the crew off to do two.           

I've known Jimmy for a long time. He might tell you when he grabs the mic that he's not comfortable with me. It didn't really take very long for me. You go through a little bit to understand what somebody is about, you know, how loose is he, how urgent does he sound, how much should he adjust when he hears me talk like that, whatever. It does take a little bit to learn that.           

I've always really respected Jimmy and I really enjoy working for him. He's got a no-nonsense racing approach, which is fun. That's how I grew up racing, too. We have a lot of fun racing together. You can tell by the big smile, right (smiling)? Did you hear all the cameras flash real quick (laughter)?           

JIMMY FENNIG: I enjoy working with Matt. This ain't the first time I worked with him. I worked with him with the Busch cars. I enjoyed it back then. Right now, you know, like Matt says, it takes a little while to know how you can read 'em. You know exactly what he's looking for in a racecar and you can give it to him.           

I think everything's going good right now and we'll just keep going from there.            

Q. Matt, just wondering, we're about 11 races into this season. Considering you've won twice, looking at your performance this season, where would you rank it as far as what the season might have the potential for? Do you seem as strong as you have been in years past when you won races or the championship or is it too early to judge yet?           

MATT KENSETH: Well, I think for sure this is the most competitive we've been since this car was introduced, however long that's been. The whole organization has been building better, faster racecars.           

Doug and them guys have done a wonderful job having the off-season to work on the FR9 to get us some more power. The durability along with it. That's made a big difference, as well. It's the full season that Jimmy and I are doing the Cup thing together, had the wintertime to get things how he wanted it at the shop, build the cars the way he wanted it.          

I feel good today obviously because we're sitting here. Who knows what next week is going to bring. I feel pretty good about it now because even some of the bad finishes we had, we still perform much better than we have in the past. We perform better at more places than we have. It really feels for sure like we're on the right track.            

Q. Matt, you made your debut here, won two races here now. What about this track brings about the success in your racing?           

MATT KENSETH: Well, I don't really know. Like any track, you have to have a fast racecar first. It's always been a track I really enjoy. Every week somebody asks me what my favorite track is when you go to hospitality. I tell them this one every time.           

I really enjoyed this track. It's one of those tracks that's a challenge to get around fast, whether you're racing someone or not. I look forward to the challenge. It's fast. You have to attack it. It's just one I've always really liked.

THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, congratulations on your win today. Thank you for your time this afternoon.

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Posted on: May 15, 2011 6:09 pm

Dover Speed Read

By Pete Pistone



Once again NASCAR proved on Sunday that if you don’t stick around until the end of a race you never know how it’s going to turn out.

On a day when Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson led the majority of the race and were seemingly in control of the outcome, pit strategy and gambling decided the outcome.

Just as upstart Regan Smith rolled the dice and outran the competition that had four fresh tires to win Darlington, the call to give Matt Kenseth only two tires while Edwards and Johnson grabbed four was the winning decision on Sunday.

But Kenseth won’t take all of the credit.

“Not exactly….” Kenseth said when asked if he agreed with the move….”honestly I was sitting on the track and thinking that we should stay out and get clean air and try it because I knew we wouldn’t win if we took four.

“(Crew chief) Jimmy (Fennig) wanted four but as I was driving down pit road I thought maybe we could compromise. While I was on the jack I asked if he was sure we didn’t want to try two and he said to put on two. It was really Jimmy’s call and just a suggestion by me.”

A suggestion that helped Kenseth all but secure a spot in the Chase with his second win of the season.

“I’m just blessed to be standing here,” said Kenseth, who scored his 20th career Sprint Cup win and his second at Dover. “We were going to do four tires and we got in the stall and decided to do two and that was the key.”

The move was one that caught Kenseth’s RFR teammate Edwards off guard. After his win in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race proved that having four fresh pieces of rubber was a definite advantage, Edwards was surprised to see what turned out to be the race-winning strategy pay off.

“I didn’t think that many guys would take two,” said Edwards, who led 117 laps but was shuffled back to seventh in the final rundown. “I thought (crew chief) Bob’s (Osborne) call was a good one, but it just didn’t work out – those guys (who took two) were just screaming fast.”

At the end of the day it was Kenseth and company who did all the screaming with a victory lane celebration that has the former series champion feeling pretty confident about his chances to compete for another title later this year.

“We want to have the wins to have the wild card, if we need to fall back on that,” Kenseth said.

Kenseth fans are going to want to stick around until the end of the season to see how it all turns out.



Mark Martin

The decision to stay out and not pit for tires didn’t result in a trip to victory lane but Martin’s second place finish behind Kenseth had to feel good anyway. The veteran has been sniffing around the Top 10 in the point standings and needs a string of consistent finishes to slide his way into the Chase. Sunday was a good step in the right direction.

Marcos Ambrose

Showing signs again that the popular Australian could join the list of first-time winners sooner rather than later. Rode the overall strength of the Ford camp and Richard Petty Motorsports at Dover to a third place finish that surely brought confidence to the Ambrose team. Sonoma and Watkins Glen might not be where he gets his first career Sprint Cup win the way Ambrose has shown off his oval track skills.

Brian Vickers

Kasey Kahne has stolen the spotlight for the Red Bull organization in recent weeks but it was Vickers who carried the team’s mail on Sunday. Desperate to show his healthy problems of a year ago are behind him and that he can still compete at NASCAR’s top level, a determined Vickers turned in an encouraging fifth place finish on Sunday.



A.J. Allmendinger

After a stellar run last fall at Dover, Allmendinger picked up right where he left off on Sunday with a strong car in the early going and the potential to pull off win number one. But engine gremlins had other ideas and a frustrated Allmendinger had his day end behind pit wall with yet another disappointing afternoon at the “Monster Mile.”

Joey Logano

The 2011 season is shaping up to be anything but Logano’s breakthrough season in the Sprint Cup Series. More trouble for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver that took him from contention for any kind of solid finish before the 100th lap of the afternoon. A 27th place finish did nothing for Logano’s hopes of somehow digging himself out of the hole he finds himself in.

Tony Stewart

Maybe the most uncompetitive effort in Stewart’s long Dover career took place on Sunday. The two-time champion found himself six laps down and if you thought Kurt Busch’s radio communication was colorful a few weeks ago you should have heard the frustration coming out of the No. 14 car Sunday afternoon. Put a big fat disappointing 29th place finish on Smoke’s scorecard.



(Choice comments and communications from drivers and crew chiefs) 

"Look at the race track. They've got to come up with a better tire here." – Denny Hamlin

“We were going to run him down. It was easy. I was having fun. ... Honestly, it sucks. It makes me want to cry." – A.J. Allmendinger

"We f-ed you on that pit stop. Sorry about that.” – Chad Knaus to Jimmie Johnson

"We're going to get eaten alive by these new tires but I'm going to give it all I've got.'' – Mark Martin after not pitting for tires during final caution



On a scale of one to five "Pistone Pistons" I’ll give Sunday’s FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks a three. The opening two-thirds were a bit on the dull side with a few occasional bursts of racing and strategy to go along with the weather watch. But the final 75 laps after the rain threat completely disappeared were interesting indeed with hard racing and crazy strategies that in the end bit some of the guys who had dominated the whole day like Edwards and Johnson while smiling on Kenseth on his way to victory lane.



“Boys Have at It” might get a workout next Saturday night when the annual Sprint All-Star Race takes the green flag at Charlotte Motor Speedway. A $1 million payday awaits the driver who can survive the unique event, which is broken into segments featuring a ten-lap dash to the checkered flag. Points aren’t involved and it’s the ultimate win or go home night of NASCAR .


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Posted on: April 10, 2011 1:34 am

Kenseth's team post Texas comments

Posted by Pete Pistone

We're now joined in the Samsung Mobile Media Center by tonight's winner of the Samsung Mobile 500 Matt Kenseth. With Matt's win tonight, he snaps a 76-race win streak. It's his second career win at Texas, his last coming in 2002. Since then he had four runner-up finishes at Texas Motor Speedway.            

You now have led the most laps of any Cup driver TMS with 669. More importantly, you're third in the points. Talk about snapping that streak and finally winning in Texas for the second time.           

MATT KENSETH:  Yeah, it feels good to get back to Victory Lane. It's been a long time. You talk about the second place finishes here, and I got beaten at the end of a lot of these races. It's great to finish second if you can't win.           

But another way is like getting kicked in the gut. You have to come back. Like last fall you look at Jimmy, and you come back and look at the guys and you're leading with two to go, three to go, five to go, and you don't win, it's always disappointing.           

So it feels good to have a night like we had tonight with a dominant car and to be able to get the win.           

THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by winning team owner, Jack Roush. It's his 16th career win at Texas Motor Speedway, and NASCAR's top three series. Second time you've won the Nationwide and Cup events at TMS in the same weekend. The Roush Fenway cars finished 1, 3, 4 and 7 tonight. Talk about tonight and the success of Roush?           

JACK ROUSH:  Well, I'm really proud of what we've been able to do in 2011. You know, we tuned up our engineering program with Ford's help over the winter and we got a new Ford nose. Everybody got a new nose this year, but our new nose was better than our old nose, I think. And we've had our FR9 engine really up to speed.           

So all of that is going well. I can't say how proud I am to be here with Matt, realizing that he's not gotten the success that his effort has deserved in recent past.           

Of course, Jimmy Fennig isn’t an instant success story. He's our oldest crew chief. Jimmy, what year did you start being a crew chief for us?           

JIMMY FENNIG:  What year? I'm trying to think, '97.           

JACK ROUSH:  '97. So Jimmy's been a crew chief with us longer than anybody else. So he's worked with a lot of different drivers and he and Matt are as good a combination of driver and crew chief as I've experienced in my 24 years here.           

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by winning crew chief Jimmy Fennig. Jimmy, talk about tonight, and also the adjustments you have to make seeing that this is the first night race here at TMS?           

JIMMY FENNIG:  Well, basically, we kind of tweaked on it a little bit. The car wasn't perfect all night. We didn't get it perfect. But the speed seemed to be there, so we didn't want to go overboard. We were just creeping up a little bit here, a little bit there and what air pressure there was. So that was about it all night.           

Q. For Matt and Jimmy, obviously, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart gambled, hoping they could make it to the end on fuel. I think that's the way that everyone thought that was the only way anyone was going to beat you guys tonight. So, Jimmy, did you have any doubt that they might make it? What did you tell Matt? Can you think that you were okay that they were both good going to make it. It ended up Tony had the pit row penalty. But did you think that you were in any trouble with those guys being able to make it?         

JIMMY FENNIG:  Well, Kurt, I figured we knew he was going to have to stop. I didn't know about Tony if he was going to make it to the end or not. I think he would have. But it would have been close. Kurt we figured he was going to be short anyways. So that's what we're up against.            

Q. Matt, this is all predictable. I could ask you about the race maybe not being that exciting, and you would say from where I was sitting, it was a very exciting race and we hear this all the time. My question is from personal satisfaction when you win and you just kick everybody's tail, does it give you more satisfaction than other kinds of wins? Does it give you a great deal of pride just to kick ass out there?           

MATT KENSETH:  Well, the first, on the racing part, it sounds dumb, but I didn't see it. You know what I mean? We had such good track position and pit stops and pit strategy and qualified well, so we really never got behind, which is obviously a big advantage for us.    

The race track tonight was a lot different than it was last year. This tire really changed the surface a lot, I thought. And I think it would have been a little tougher to come from behind.           

So, anyway, yeah, it always feels good to win no matter how you can win. More times than not, the fastest car ends up winning, and I thought that happened tonight. I was real worried about Tony's deal. Of course, I worry about everything; right, Jimmy?           

But we had a fast car. And did it and had track position. When he was in front of me, I was trying pretty hard to get back by him, and it took a while until he slipped to get by him. So it was important for us to make some ground. The way Jimmy pitted the race, it made ground the way we needed to and gave us a little bit of a cushion.          

Q. After the win, we heard you tell your crew that you didn't think you were going to be able to do this again, which struck me because I think after you won Daytona two years ago you said a few days earlier you had the same discussion with your wife that I didn't think I could win a race again. Does this give you solace or have you reached the point in your career where every one of these you're going to savor because you don't know if it's going to come around again?        

MATT KENSETH:  I've enjoyed every one of them. Daytona's kind of different, but we went to California the next week and won. It was huge for me. In a way, it was almost of a race car and racing standpoint. It was bigger than Daytona. It wasn't a bigger win, but it was because that's what you have to do every week. You only do plate racing four times.          

So, you know, I felt better the last six months. Everything's been looking up. Certainly the previous 12 months before that was frustrating for me. As you start to get older and with the results and it's been over two years since we won. You can't help but think, "Is this the way it's going to go? Are we going to keep trickling backwards?"

You keep working as hard as you can at it. And you try to get the cars going the best you can, and hopefully have some more chances to win. But certainly it gives you a lot of confidence, and it's a big relief to get back to Victory Lane and break that winless streak.

It's been a long time, and we've had a lot of fun going to the racetrack here the last two months the last year, and the first part of this year it feels like we're back into a contending form.

Q. Can you talk about how your relationship with Jimmy has evolved? Can you define --

MATT KENSETH:  Not with him sitting here (laughing).

Q. Can you define Hammerhead?

MATT KENSETH:  No, I'm not going to do that right now. My relationship with Jimmy has been good. It's always been good. Jimmy said he came out in 1997, so I guess it was the first year. I have Mark Martin to thank for sitting here. He saw me race and talked to jack about me, and Jack gave me the opportunity to come over here.

In that first year, it was '97 and '98, is when the testing rules were different, they used to let me come and hang out at the test. And I'd say in the hotel with the guys and I'd hang out with Jimmy a lot and ask him a lot of questions. I was probably like that pesky little kid. He was probably tired of answering questions.

But I'd hang out and spend as much time as I could when I'd go to the track and test. So I've known Jimmy and respected Jimmy for what he's done for a lot of reasons for a long time.

Q. Tonight was your second victory here at the Texas Motor Speedway, and your 12th Top 10 finish in 18 races here. Matt, what is it about this track that, for you, you just do so well here? What is it about Texas Motor Speedway that makes you a good race car driver here?

MATT KENSETH:  Well, I don't really know why we do better here than some other tracks. But the thing that makes you a good race car driver are fast race cars. So I've had really fast cars coming here, and great engines and crews and teams and all that.

So that certainly makes my job a lot easier. I think there are some tracks that for whatever reason you have a better feel at. You can probably give better feedback, and better information, and help your guys maybe more so than others. 

Martinsville, it feels like between Martinsville and Sears Point are probably my worst two tracks for that. We had a great car last week, and probably the fastest car I've had at Martinsville, at least in the top two or three cars at Martinsville and got behind because I made a mental error in the beginning.  

So that is the kind of track that I can tell Jimmy what the car's doing, but I can't really help him much, which I think makes his job a lot harder. Where when I come here, and I feel like I can help him a little bit more, and I know the feel that I'm looking for which probably helps him a little bit.

Q. Is there any coincidence that your Green Bay Packers came to this area not too long ago to Dallas and won a Super Bowl? Did you think about that at all coming into this race and did you get a chance to go to the game?

MATT KENSETH:  I did not go to the game. My wife told me I could go to the game, and she was mad at me that I didn't go because she said I'm going to give her a hard time about it, but I did not go.

She was pregnant. She was due about two weeks after the Super Bowl, and the last thing I needed to do was land in Dallas and have her call me and tell me she was on the way to the hospital by herself, and I had to go to Daytona the next week and all that.

So I figured I'd stay home and watch it on TV. But we had a great time and had some friends over. To have the Packers win the Super Bowl was huge.

'96 was the last time they went, and I didn't have enough money in '96 to get a ticket or fly to a race or do any of that stuff or fly to the game, and I always said if they ever went again, once I made enough money where I could do that, I was going to go.

So I'm hoping they can go back again. Last time they went, they went two years in a row, so hopefully they can play football this year and hopefully they can make it back.

Q. Less than a minute after the race ended, Ross (Kenseth’s son) put on Twitter, "I guess the old man can still get up on the wheel." How old is Ross now?

MATT KENSETH:  17, yeah.

Q. Even in most of your victories when you've had really good cars, tonight's win was very un-Kenseth-like in that you led so many laps and thoroughly dominated the race. Was the car so good that you could not run anywhere but first, most of the night?

MATT KENSETH:  The car was really good, but starting there made a big difference. If we had started 20th or 24th where I used to qualify all the time, we wouldn't have led all the laps, obviously. It would have taken us a lot longer to get to the front. Hopefully we would have still gotten to the front.

So that was a big advantage. Qualifying is really important with cars, and Jimmy has really turned me into a better qualifier more times than not. We've been doing better the last six months than what I used to do. Our starting position keeps improving, which is really important these days, so that's part of it.

We've had a couple like this, but not a lot. Vegas is one that comes to mind, and that was a long time ago. It was, I think '03, where we felt like we were straightaway ahead all night, and the car was just about perfect.

But yeah, you don't get a lot of days in today's competition level where you can lead that many laps and dominate a race and get a win.

Q. You had been kind of behind the scenes with Roush until you hooked up with Matt. Did you ever think you'd get back to this point at this level? Did you ever want to get back into the crew chief game at the Cup level? Did you ever think you'd experience this again?

JIMMY FENNIG:  Well, you know, yeah, I'm glad I'm back here and I'm glad I'm with Matt Kenseth driving the race car because it makes my job easy. But whatever Jack wants me to do, that's what I'll do.

But I'm really enjoying working with Matt, and hopefully we win some more races.


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Posted on: April 10, 2011 12:39 am
Edited on: April 10, 2011 1:43 am

Speed Read: Samsung Mobile 500

By Pete Pistone

  Samsung Mobile 500 Results

If you don’t remember the last time Matt Kenseth went to victory lane don’t feel so bad. Even the 2003 Sprint Cup champion had a hard time recollecting his last checkered flag.

“Over two years, I didn’t know if I’d get a chance to get here again,” Kenseth said in victory lane after his Samsung Mobile 500 triumph Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway referring to his February of 2009 win in Fontana.

In somewhat typical Kenseth style his 19th career victory was understated even though he led a race-high 169 laps. He had a dominating car, got shuffled back during some fuel strategy runs by others that eventually failed and then finally inherited his rightful place as the leader with 13 laps remaining to go on to victory lane.

“I really want to thank (crew chief) Jimmy (Fennig) and this whole team for working as hard as they do for this victory," said Kenseth. "I have to thank Crown Royal Black and all the fans up there. We had a packed house up there and it might not have been the closest finish, but it was great racing all night.”

Kenseth was understandably pleased with the performance but his assessment of “great racing” wasn’t exactly 100 percent accurate.

The 500-mile grind around the 1.5-mile Texas track had its share of long runs without much in the way of passing or side-by-side racing.

But like the two other intermediate track stops this year at Las Vegas and Fontana, that kind of goes with the territory.

On the upside the grandstands were packed on a hot and beautiful Texas evening and the track’s first-ever Cup race under the stars was a box office if not artistic success.

Kenseth or the legion of Ford fans downright giddy over the manufacturer’s new found muscle in the Cup series could care about any of that choosing only to focus on the win and the leap up the point standings that now finds the driver of the No. 17 entry third.

'The goal every year is to win a championship and you can’t do that if you aren’t in the Chase so we have been pretty good over the last four weeks and now we have a pretty dominating win," added Kenseth. "Hopefully we can carry this momentum back to victory lane a couple of times.”

If Kenseth is successful in that quest it’s likely no one will notice until he’s handed the winner’s trophy in victory lane.



Paul Menard

After a couple of down weeks the Richard Childress Racing driver returned to the front of the field and turned in a very impressive fifth place finish. RCR has proven itself to be a force on the intermediate-sized tracks this year, which could bode well for Menard continuing his early-season surprise run toward the top of the point standings.

Marcos Ambrose

Like his run at Las Vegas in March, Ambrose had a strong night on the 1.5-mile Texas track Saturday night. In a short time Ambrose has proven that being part of the resurgent Ford camp on intermediate tracks is beneficial and more than likely the popular Australian is looking forward to May’s trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway – TMS’ sister track.

David Ragan

Showed his first career pole position was no fluke with a stellar run Saturday night that included the UPS Ford running upfront much of the night and coming home with a much-needed Top 10 finish. Ragan admits he’s on the hot seat at Roush and more performances like his Texas visit will be a big step for the Georgia driver to stay in the team’s plans.



Martin Truex Jr.

For the second straight week Truex was fortunate to walk away from a severe crash uninjured. A race after he hit the wall a ton at Martinsville, Truex was the victim of a multi-car pile-up in a chain reaction crash on the backstretch and in the aftermath fell further down the point standings.

Brian Vickers

Won’t be on Clint Bowyer’s holiday gift list this season after nearly causing a major crash between the two racing down the front stretch. It’s been an up and down return to full-time Sprint Cup status for Vickers who has had a couple of good performances but more than his share of struggles as well.

Joey Logano

The driver who ended last season as one of the hottest is but a memory in the first part of 2011. Logano had all kinds of issues Saturday night including pit road problems and drove his battered car home to a very disappointing 24th place finish. Aside from Kyle Busch, the Sprint Cup effort for Joe Gibbs Racing has been a challenge to say the least in the early going.



(Choice comments and communications from drivers and crew chiefs) 

“One day we'll get a car to stick on the racetrack. One day." – Kurt Busch

"It's been there a while." – Kyle Busch on debris on the race track

“It's too loose, too loose. If you can, find anything to settle my stomach..." – Kurt Busch

"Gotta fix my fender. He's a dumbass." – Clint Bowyer on Brian Vickers

“Not too bad of a day! Missed a big wreck, kept the car scratch free, and finished 17th.” – Trevor Bayne 



On a scale of one to five "Pistone Pistons" I’ll give Saturday night’s Samsung Mobile 500 a three. Somewhat typical 500-mile race at a 1.5-mile track that turned into a fuel mileage drama before any kind of rip roaring, side-by-side battle for position. The Roush brigade flexed its muscles, the lights were bright under the Texas sky to make for a sometimes beautiful setting but outside of Kenseth finally getting back to victory lane the first trip to Texas in 2011 wasn’t anywhere near as memorable as the last race back in November.



Restrictor plate race number two of the season is on tap when the series heads to Talladega Superspeedway next Sunday afternoon. Will we see the same two-car tandem draft that dominated at Daytona or will the packs of 30 cars that have been the norm at Talladega be on display? That’s the big question as NASCAR makes its annual spring trek to Alabama.



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Posted on: March 5, 2011 3:49 pm

Kenseth stays fast in Las Vegas

Posted By Pete Pistone

Matt Kenseth remained perfect Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway leading the weekend's final practice session ahead of Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400. Kenseth will start Sunday's third race of the Sprint Cup Series season from the pole.

Kobalt Tools 400 Final Practice Speeds

1. Matt Kenseth 184.112 mph

2. Kyle Busch 183.717 mph

3. Ryan Newman 183.680 mph

4. Carl Edwards 183.630 mph

5. Greg Biffle 183.511 mph

6. David Reutimann 183.349 mph

7. Martin Truex Jr. 183.312 mph

8. Tony Stewart 183.069 mph

9. Joey Logano 182.989 mph

10. Denny Hamlin 182.964 mph

11. Marcos Ambrose 182.908 mph

12. David Ragan 182.859 mph

13. Kurt Busch 182.859 mph

14. Mark Martin 182.840 mph

15. Jimmie Johnson 182.797 mph

16. Paul Menard 182.753 mph

17. A.J. Allmendinger 182.655 mph

18. Juan Pablo Montoya 182.580 mph

19. Kasey Kahne ` 182.562 mph

20. Jamie McMurray 182.426 mph

21. Jeff Gordon 182.377 mph

22. Jeff Burton 182.149 mph

23. Brian Vickers 181.100 mph

24. Trevor Bayne 181.928 mph

25. Brad Keselowski 181.781 mph

26. Regan Smith 181.775 mph

27. Kevin Harvick 181.574 mph

28. Clint Bowyer 181.117 mph

29. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 180.814 mph

30. Bobby Labonte 180.711 mph

31. Casey Mears 180.614 mph

32. David Gilliland 180.409 mph

33. Robby Gordon 180.204 mph

34. Joe Nemechek 179.880 mph

35. Andy Lally 179.635 mph

36. Bill Elliott 179.480 mph

37. Dave Blaney 179.325 mph

38. Landon Cassill 178.950 mph

39. Mike Skinner 178.589 mph

40. J.J. Yeley 177.901 mph

41. Tony Raines 176.887 mph

42. Michael McDowell 176.603 mph

43. Travis Kvapil 176.517 mph
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Posted on: February 22, 2011 5:07 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 5:07 pm

Kenseth's welcome baby girl

Posted By Pete Pistone

From News Release

CONCORD, NC --- Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford with Roush Fenway Racing, and his wife Katie welcomed a new bundle of joy into their family early Tuesday morning with the birth of the couple’s second daughter.

Grace Katherine Kenseth was born February 22 at 3:49 a.m. EST weighing in at seven pounds and eight ounces.  Both mother and daughter are doing well as the family welcomes Grace into the family to join their other daughter Kaylin and son Ross.

Kenseth will be able to spend a few days with his brand new baby girl before traveling out west for this weekend’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.  Kenseth has earned top-ten finishes in his last two races at the track as the No. 17 team looks to rebound from a 34th-place finish at Daytona last weekend after getting caught up in a multi-car wreck early in the race. 

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Category: Auto Racing
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