NASCAR » 22 April 2013
Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing - Q&A
As far as winning from the pole, I mean, the fastest car is supposed to win, right? That's what racing is all about. So I think it's a little bit of a coincidence. I don't think it really has anything to do with the cars the way everything worked out. But it's not like all three of those races it's not like the pole sitter went out and led every lap. Things happened. You got shuffled back, you had to pass cars. I mean for 400 miles or 500 miles, you're not going to stay out front the whole time. But man, we had a good car. Everything worked out at the end. We were in the front for that last pit stop and was able to hold stationary and get out in clean air, so that was key.
Is this why you wanted to come to Gibbs, what you're doing now, and JD, is this why you wanted Matt to be in the #20?
We've always wanted Matt here. That's a good question. Matt, why did you?
I'll tell you, it had more to do with his dad than him. (Laughter.)
That's actually a truthful statement.
I mean, honestly the reasons were countless. I'm not going to get into them all, but it was just - I just knew it was the right place for me with the right group at the right time and all that stuff. So I mean, there just wasn't - honestly I just knew there wasn't any doubt. I just knew that that was where I needed to be and where I felt like I had the best chance to be the most successful.
Matt, I heard you say out there you were talking about how this just feels like a dream, and I know that that's kind of cliché, but -
Living the dream, yeah.
I know you felt really good about coming here but did you think it would be this quick? It appears that you guys are obviously established championship contenders just eight races in. Did it go better than you expected?
Well, I think it can always go better but things have been pretty good from a performance standpoint. I think as an organization one of our cars - if all the stars would have aligned - could have won every race this year if everything would have worked out. The only place I feel like we really kind of somewhat missed it was California and the #18 won there. Other than that we've had cars that have been capable of running in the top three or four every week.
Did I expect that? I kind of did. I'm not a guy - I'm usually a - I hate to say I'm a glass half empty guy, but instead of talking about it I like to do it and then talk about it. I don't like to make predictions, I'm just not that guy.
But anyway, I couldn't have had a better feeling about it all when I decided to do it, and certainly that feeling hasn't changed. I feel like it's really a special group. I think Jason is a special guy. It's a special organization, and man, they've got some great race cars and TRD does a great job with the engines. They've got everything they need there to win races and championships.
When you have to make a decision to go from one powerhouse team to another, and they both are, who do you go to or lean on for advice? Obviously your closest relatives but outside of your family who do you lean on for that kind of advice?
Nobody. I didn't talk to anybody about it except for Katie. Katie and I talked about it. She would never tell me what to do, necessarily pick for my profession. She would let me do that. But certainly she had a positive feeling about it, as well.
I didn't really tell anybody else about it. I really didn't need to. It wasn't really a hard decision, believe it or not.
Matt, as Kasey was closing in on you in the final laps, Chris was keeping you pretty well apprised of what line Kasey was running. Was that more so that if it came to it you could take away his line or were you still looking for a faster way around?
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