NASCAR » 22 April 2013
Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing - Q&A
No, once we got it within - once we got to probably 20 to go, that didn't really matter. He was just trying to let me know where he was, how close he was, if he was getting a run off the top or whatever so I could kind of know where his momentum was or where he was stronger, that type of thing. But 20 to go when I started catching them lapped cars, I didn't have much of a choice. I really thought I wanted to pass them all on the top, and that wasn't such a great thought. I really messed up a couple laps real bad. I drove in behind the #47 once, and I thought he was going to the bottom and he went to the top and I was so committed I drove in behind him and pretty much had to stop and cost us about a second, that lap. And then from there on out, man, it was a lot of work. We were loose into turn 3 and I felt like I just kept missing it and messing it up.
From that point on it really didn't matter. I was more concerned about the cars in front of me, how I was going to get around the lap cars without losing very much momentum.
And earlier when he was telling me was mainly because in the beginning of the race, we were so fast, we started out front, I really just ran the bottom the whole time and I could see the track rubbering up, so I knew people were running other places. So I was really just trying to get information about where people were putting their cars that were running good because I knew that last run I wasn't going to be able to just sit on the bottom and we weren't going to win doing that. I knew there was more speed when I watch the #48 and some of them guys earlier in the race make some passes up there, so really just trying to figure that out to give Jason the best information I could to hopefully have the car like we needed it then.
Matt, I know you're acclimated and everything at Joe Gibbs Racing, but is it still weird when you're racing for the lead with Stenhouse in the car that you drove here for a win last October?
Actually, no, not at all. Joe would be the first one to tell you the car is his because he has to spend all the money on it, but I really don't. I don't really even - I really don't even - it doesn't really even cross my mind honestly. I feel like the #20 car is my car, and I don't really think about that that much anymore, and I'll certainly - I've got some friends over there and stuff like that, and you like to see them guys do good and you stop and say hi and that kind of stuff, but I don't think about that being my old car or anything like that anymore.
Winning with a group that hasn't won a whole lot, do you notice that - does winning mean more to them than maybe teams that have won a lot and win a lot?
Well, I don't know how long everybody on teams are, but there's a lot of guys on that team from when Tony was there and won championships. I don't know how many races you guys won with Tony, but it was a lot. It was a total bigger than I'll ever get to. A lot of them guys are used to winning, and certainly it was Jason's first year in Cup last year, and he won a race and he certainly won a lot of races in every other kind of racing that he's done.
I don't know, I've never won a race with a team that wasn't pretty darned excited to win. I think we're all really excited to win. These things are really hard to win, and man, you've got to enjoy them when it happens because you don't know if you're ever going to get another one or when another one is going to come. I think you really enjoy it today, and tomorrow we'll go talk about Kansas and get ready to go to Richmond.
Going back to what JD said about how Kyle and Denny had given you the leadership role and you were happy to take it on, knowing that you didn't talk to anybody else -
You said I was happy to take it on?
That's what he said, I've got it right here.
He took it on.
The quote was Matt's happy to take it on. You didn't talk to anybody ahead of this move; did you just know that they were going to be - I guess did you just expect that they would kind of defer to you and you would become the team leader and did you look forward to that?
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