In the midst of the off-season, the No. 17 Dewalt Ford driver Matt Kenseth and crew chief Robbie Reiser both evaluate 2001 as they optimistically prepare for 2002:

Q:
What are your thoughts on the 2001 season?

Matt Kenseth:
We struggled through the beginning of last season, but thankfully our perseverance started to pay off and we ended the season on a good note. In three out of the last six races we finished in the top five. Turning things around like that gave us a tremendous amount of confidence for next year. We hope to start out next season performing well as we did to finish out the 2001 season.

Robbie Reiser
During the first part of the year, we dealt with everything from poor qualifying to engine problems. At times our performance during qualifying affected us mentally and it felt like we'd lost the race before we'd had a chance to start it. But we kept working hard and by the end of the season we were performing as a team the best we had all year.

Q:
Have any changes been made in the pit crew?

MK:
We've got all the same people and we feel great about that. We're all ready to race.

RR:
All of the guys are extremely dedicated to this team. After they won the Pit Crew Championship, some guys had other offers. Not one person left. Everyone on this team knows they are part of something special.

Q:
What are you doing in the off-season to prepare for next year?

MK:
One thing we're working on now is building several new cars. We did a lot of tests throughout the 2001 season and finally ended up with three or four cars we felt ran really well. We're going to use those cars next year as well as the new ones we build.

RR:
Something different we're doing this year is pit practice with helmets. Our guys are getting used to wearing the helmets and making the necessary adjustments. We're trying out a few different types, some of which allow more visibility than others because of the design.

Q:
What are your goals or expectations for the 2002 season?

MK:
Of course, we want to improve on last season's record. We hope to accomplish that by being more competitive week in and week out. I want to finish in the top 10 in the point's race and it's definitely time to get back to victory lane.

RR:
I expect us to start out the 2002 season the same way we ended last season. I truly believe we have a championship race team and that Matt is a championship driver.

Roush Racing operates eight teams; four in the NASCAR Winston Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch; two in the NASCAR Busch series with Burton and Greg Biffle; and two in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck with Jon Wood and Kyle Busch.