NASCAR » 11 March 2013
Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing - Q&A
It was a really interesting race from my seat, so the groove really moved around a lot. You could really manipulate your car's handling a lot by where you decided to run on the racetrack, and you don't necessarily always have that. And I feel like that's one of my weak points is usually finally getting off the bottom or trying something different or whatever. You really had to work hard today to find something.
But yeah, the pace was fast. There was one run where I was pretty darn happy with the car and they weren't really backing up to me very fast. I think we were running fifth or sixth or something. We were gaining on them a little bit, but not a lot. So I thought it was really an entertaining race. I was watching Kyle run up there and get the lead, and Kasey would be better in the long run and start working different groove and go back by him.
I thought it was interesting and you had to pay a lot of attention all the time, and you had to keep looking and keep trying to find more grip and a place to make your car faster.
Matt, from my position in turn 2, I saw more grooves, I think it was an unlimited number of grooves from the white line all the way to the outside wall for much of the day, and I think you used every one of them at some point during the day. Do you think a lot of that is attributable to this new car? And do you expect to see this now despite the consternation that a lot of people were talking about on these mile and a halves, do you think we'll see that more?
Well, I don't know. I mean, I hope so. I think it makes the racing more interesting when there's more than one groove on the racetrack. I know it makes it more interesting and challenging for a driver than if everybody is just stuck in one groove. Yeah, you saw people all over the track today. There was one time we were running up in 1 and 2 about two-thirds of the way through the corner you're underneath those shades of the billboard, and you weren't sure how much room you had left to the wall. So they kept taking the gray and turning it black and moving it higher and higher.
3 and 4 kind of stopped. That last five or six feet was kind of slick, but 1 and 2 got really wide, had a lot of grip up there. For me my car would be tighter if I ran up there than if you ran lower and most of the day we kind of fought loose. So I had to run high probably 70 to 80 per cent of the race.
Now that it's your 29th birthday for the 12th time, what is on the agenda for you tonight, and do you get an extra day to enjoy it?
Well, we're going to fly home tonight. I had a really, really fun week actually. We came to -- I got to Phoenix on Thursday or whatever, and then Katie and my two girls and her mom and dad came to Phoenix on Saturday and loaded up our Sequoia, and I felt like Clark Griswold. And we drove up through Sedona and up through the Grand Canyon. There was a zoo down there by Flagstaff. We did all that for a few days and got here Wednesday. We've been gone for a fair amount of time, and we're all ready to get home.
Matt, you were screaming into your radio a little bit at the end. Is the communication with the spotter just what you need in that situation, the biggest transition when you're dealing with new people at a new place?
Yeah, I mean, honestly everybody we got that I know that's a part of this fits perfectly, including Chris. So man, it's only our third race with him, but he has been awesome. He is so good. He helped us win that race. He gave me the information that we needed, and it was really important. He understood what was important to me, but it was very important not to let Kasey get on the side of me. If he did, I was done, and he did a really good job of telling me where he was running.
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