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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]
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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, pulls out of the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on July 24, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, lead the field to a restart during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Kentucky 300 at Kentucky Speedway on July 10, 2015 in Sparta, Kentucky.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Kentucky 300 at Kentucky Speedway on July 10, 2015 in Sparta, Kentucky.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Kentucky 300 at Kentucky Speedway on July 10, 2015 in Sparta, Kentucky.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Kentucky 300 at Kentucky Speedway on July 10, 2015 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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