23 September 2013
Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing - Q&A
For the second consecutive week, the guest of honour in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race winner conference was Matt Kenseth and his Joe Gibbs Racing crew chief and car owner.
If it feels like Groundhog Day to see Matt Kenseth back fielding questions in the winner's media conference, that's because it really was only a week since he was in the same position.
This time Kenseth was victorious in his 500th Cup race outing, and for the first time at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He was once again joined by his crew chief Jason Ratcliff and by Joe Gibbs Racing team president JD Gibbs.
Let's hear from our race winner for the second straight week, Matt Kenseth. He drives the #20 Home Depot Husky Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. He's joined by his crew chief Jason Ratcliff and team president JD Gibbs.
A couple things before we start. It's a career-best seventh win in 2013 for Matt Kenseth, his first win at New Hampshire, and he wins on his 500th career start. I believe the only other driver that's ever done that is a fellow by the name of Richard Petty.
This is also the third time that a driver has won the first two races in the Chase, and certainly Joe Gibbs Racing, one-two the first two weeks. That's never been done in the Chase.
Matt, talk about how you came to the racetrack. Obviously when you left Chicago, I'm sure you were just hoping to get through this weekend, and yet here you are in victory lane. How did that happen?
Yeah, you never go to the track and hope to just get through a weekend, but yet certainly if I had to pick all the races, this is probably one that I had probably more anxiety over than most just because I really feel like I'm the weak link here. We had a pretty good car in the spring, and I kind of messed it up a little bit, and I was hoping we'd have a good car today and I didn't want to hold them back.
I felt a little bit - I was a little bit worried about this weekend more so than some tracks just because it has been a tough track for me. It's tough to pass, it's easy to get shuffled back on a restart and not get such a good finish.
Had a great day on Friday, great day of practice, really, really fast in race trim. We were off just a little bit qualifying, still qualified well, and then really fast on Saturday in race trim. So I felt really confident with my car today. To have a fast car and to be able to do all the right things with adjustments and strategy and pit stops and all that stuff and be out front and win is two different things, so it's just - I'm thankful to be part of this group, and it's just honestly doesn't really seem real that we won yet today.
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