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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.

Q:
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?

JD Gibbs
We've always wanted Matt here. That's a good question. Matt, why did you?

Matt Kenseth:
I'll tell you, it had more to do with his dad than him. (Laughter.)

JD Gibbs
That's actually a truthful statement.

Matt Kenseth:
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.

Q:
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 -

Matt Kenseth:
Living the dream, yeah.

Q:
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?

Matt Kenseth:
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.

Q:
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?

Matt Kenseth:
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.

Q:
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?

Matt Kenseth:



Related Pictures

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Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 The Home Depot/Husky Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on April 19, 2013 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, celebrates by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with third place finisher Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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