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Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing - Q&A

Matt Kenseth was in victory lane again despite being only three races into his tenure with new team Joe Gibbs Racing. And as well as the race win at Las Vegas, he was also celebrating his 41st birthday on Unday.
Q:
Congratulations, Matt. New team [Joe Gibbs Racing], right out of the box, it's got to feel really, really good to get this win here today [in Las Vegas].

Matt Kenseth:
Yeah, for sure. I'm pretty proud to be driving this car. I felt a lot of pressure that I put on myself to come in here and perform. I felt like coming over here and getting to know Jason, and really everybody in the shop and the organization and everything, you know, just it's a great feeling about the season. We're only three weeks in, but man, all three races we had a car, if everything would have went right, that we could have won, and it feels pretty awesome to have this win here.

Q:
Matt, getting this out of the way and just getting it done early, how much of just pure relief is this, and how much pressure is off you now and you can just kind of go out week to week and go race for a championship?

Matt Kenseth:
Well, I don't know that it changes a lot. I mean, I'm not a huge goal person, but my goal was to win and to win early. I felt like I just -- nobody has put any pressure on my except for myself, but I also know that Coach hired me to come in there and climb in that car and win races so you certainly want to do that and you don't want to disappoint people. I'm glad we got a win, but it's still only week three. I feel like this is the beginning, you know, and have a lot of confidence, had a lot of confidence after our first meeting and decided to go do this and just had a great feeling about it. And I still do.

So it's great to get the win. It's always great to get a win early in the season, but you certainly don't want to act like it stops. You want to go to the next one and start thinking -- we go on a plane to go home tonight, start thinking about Bristol and what we're going to try to do there. That's the great thing about the sport, it never stops, you only get to enjoy it for a couple days.

But to answer your question it feels really great to get the win, and hopefully that'll keep some momentum going for our team.

Q:
I know how important track position was, but was there any debate between you and Jason to stay out on the old tires?

Matt Kenseth:
No. No, not at all. Honestly, I was grinning inside as I was leaving pit road. All I said on the track, I was like -- I knew we had to pit, I was like, try to keep me up front if you can. I didn't say anything when he came on pit road and said that we only needed fuel. I had him counting under his breath. I thought oh, I thought he was filling it up. I left pit road, and I was like, that's what you like.

You know, you're hoping, dreaming, all that stuff, to work with somebody that doesn't only prepare race cars to win races, but you want to call races to win races and do pit stops to win races and adjust cars to win races and be aggressive. The last two weeks he's been really aggressive on both counts and felt like got the cars good enough to go up there and win races if all the stars aligned.

Q:
Matt, people weren't surprised or aren't surprised to see you find a way to just keep working your way methodically up through and keeping your car underneath you and saving something for the end, but do you feel that you get full credit for the fact that you had to race real hard at the end to hold off Kasey Kahne? How do you feel about that?

Matt Kenseth:



Related Pictures

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Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 10, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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