Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion, met with media members prior to the opening practice at Pocono Raceway Friday afternoon.
MATT KENSETH, No. 17 RFR Ford Fusion – LAST TIME HERE THERE WERE A BUNCH OF SPEEDING PENALTIES ON PIT ROAD. DO YOU THINK WE WILL SEE THAT AGAIN? “Well, as long as it isn’t me getting caught I hope we see a lot of them. It certainly helps with track position. I think it all depends on whether people speed on pit road or not.”
LAST WEEK JIMMIE JOHNSON SAID THAT HIS ULTIMATE GOAL WAS TO WIN EIGHT CHAMPIONSHIPS. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT COMMENT? “Well, when you have five in a row you can make comments like that. If it was somebody making a comment like that that hasn’t won one or maybe won one eight or 10 years ago like myself, you would think that was kind of arrogant or something. Coming from Jimmie it really isn’t. It is realistic. They have proved that team and that combination of Chad and Jimmie and the guys at HMS have been the premier team and been the best over the last five to eight years or however you want to look at it. I don’t think that is unrealistic. I hope I can make it unrealistic and we can win some of them but coming from them it is not bad.”
HOW HAS THE EMPHASIS TEAMS HAVE PUT ON ROAD COURSES CHANGED IN RECENT YEARS? “Well, I think people have always worked on it a lot it is just different because you can’t really test at tracks that we race at. There are only two road courses but it is easier to go to a road course and pack up and test than maybe some of the oval tracks. There are not many oval tracks that are similar to other oval tracks we race at. I think people have always worked on it. I am not sure they work on it harder than what they used to, I just think you try to do well everywhere.”
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING SECTION OR TURN AT WATKINS GLEN? “I can’t think of one that isn’t a challenge for me. I think it is all tough. I think probably for me the most important part to your lap time is getting through the esses the fastest. The more throttle you can use going up the hill and through the esses the less you have to lift it seems like that really adds a lot or takes a lot away from your lap time because that back stretch is long. They are all important and unique at Watkins Glen. When it comes to racing, I think whatever they call it now, the last turn, is very important to get off that and into turn one so you don’t get passed there. The esses are always important leading up to the bus stop because that is another passing zone. The more cushion you can get through the esses and the top of the hill the less likely you are to get passed.”
THERE HAVE BEEN SIX DIFFERENT WINNERS HERE IN THE LAST SIX RACES. WHY IS THAT? “I think it is always pretty competitive and every year the rules get tighter and cars get closer to being the same speed. The closer we are to the same speed the more opportunities it gives people to win.”
ANYTHING JOEY (LOGANO) DID HERE LAST TIME THAT YOU CAN TRY TO SIMULATE? “Yeah, you want to sit on the pole and be as fast as you can every week and try to win for sure. They had a real fast car and did everything right and made the move there at the end for the win. That was really a good weekend for him for sure.”