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Kenseth looks forward

Ordinarily, the champion's breakfast at the Daytona 500 Experience is a leisurely affair, where the winning Daytona 500 driver, owner, crew chief and crew bask in the afterglow of victory in NASCAR's most prestigious race.

You couldn't have blamed Drew Blickensderfer, Kenseth's crew chief, for revelling in the moment. After all, barely 14 hours earlier, he had won Sprint Cup's biggest race on his debut in the series.

Scarcely 15 minutes into Monday's breakfast, however, Blickensderfer fielded two questions and left the building, his crew in tow, ultimately headed 'out west' to try to squeeze another smidgen of speed out of the racecar that's on its way to Fontana for Sunday's Auto Club 500.

When you're on a roll at the craps table, you don't want to give the dice a chance to cool. The same goes when you win a race no-one - not even Matt Kenseth - expects you to win.

Kenseth was unprepared to win the Daytona race - deliberately so. Faced with a post-race trip to New York, highlighted by an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, the former Cup Series champion skipped out on his own victory party and flew home to North Carolina, but flew back to Daytona early Monday morning in time for the 8am induction ceremony for his car.

“We didn't have our motorhome down here, so we didn't have hardly anything,” Kenseth explained, “I wasn't prepared for it kind of on purpose. One year, I was kind of thinking 'you know, they take you to all these places and don't let you go home afterwards. You're gone all week, so I'll bring some clothes down here'. And I think that was the worst 500 I ever had, so I told [wife] Katie 'if it happens and we win, I'll worry about it then'. So I had to worry about it last night.

“We just went and got all of our stuff. We haven't been home since Wednesday, when we came back down here, and they're not letting us go home until after California, so I needed to go home for a few hours.”

“He ran out of underwear,” interjected team owner Jack Roush, who, like Kenseth, won the Daytona 500 for the first time on Sunday.

The 500 is a quirky race, and the fastest car seldom wins. Kenseth's Ford was good, but not as good at Kyle Busch's Toyota, which led 88 of the first 124 laps. Miraculously, Kenseth's car skated through the wild, controversial lap 124 wreck that started with a game of chicken between Dale Earnhardt Jr and Brian Vickers, while Busch's car was damaged irreparably in the melee.



Related Pictures

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Matt Kenseth celebrates victory in the Daytona 500 [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose for a photo prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane with team owner Dale Earnhardt jr. after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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October 24, 2010 6:12 AM

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