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Texas II: Matt Kenseth preview

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« on: October 31, 2007, 11:00:59 pm »

Texas II: Matt Kenseth preview
Racing series   NASCAR-BUSCH NASCAR-CUP 
Date  2007-10-31

FAST FACTS

* Matt Kenseth's fourth-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway last Sunday marked the third straight top-five finish in the Cup Series at Atlanta, and fourth in the past five races.

* For the third and final time in 2007, Kenseth's No. 17 Ford will don the USG Sheetrock paint scheme at Texas this weekend. In the previous two outings, it finished 10th at Martinsville in April and second at Chicago in July.

* Kenseth's average finish during the Chase at TMS is 7.5; ranking second among all Chase tracks.

* Kenseth has finished in the top three in three of the past four Cup races at Texas.

* Kenseth is the all-time lap leader at Texas Motor Speedway in NASCAR * competition, leading 637 laps total; 330 in NEXTEL Cup and 307 in * Busch. In addition, he's also led nine laps in IROC.

* Kenseth has recorded 10 top-10 finishes in 12 starts in NBS competition at TMS, a series best, which includes two wins, the last one coming in the spring race when he won "free fries for America" in the Arby's car.

Kenseth on racing at Texas Motor Speedway:
"We've put together back-to-back solid finishes, which is something, it seems like, that we haven't done in a long time. I thought we had a car capable of winning at the end, and we haven't been able to say that in while, because, basically, we haven't been able to get to the end. But, it was another solid performance by our guys and hopefully that can carry over into this weekend.

"Texas is a lot like Atlanta and we've had some success there in the past. I've always enjoyed racing there. It's fast and since the pavement has aged a little bit, there are multiple grooves and once your car starts sliding around on old tires, you can kind of search out different grooves to suit the way your car's handling. I always enjoy that style of racing. It's more challenging and a lot of fun for the driver. Our car's performance is as good as it has been all year. That makes it fun to come to race track when you have that and hopefully we'll have the same this weekend."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Texas Motor Speedway:
"We're taking the same car to Texas that we did in the spring and it's been pretty good for us all year. It last ran at Kansas and was probably a top-five or top-eight car, but we got caught a lap down by the rain and then got caught up in the wreck on the restart afterwards. But, it's been repaired, the damage was minimal and we should be good to go.

"Texas has always been a pretty good track for us and we seem to run well there. Last week was a good one for us. We made the right adjustments towards the end of the race and was able to compete for the win, but a couple of late cautions kind of ruined our chances. Still, the guys did a good job working on the car and pitting the car throughout the race, especially when it counted. We're still out to pick up a win or two before the end of the year and our cars have been running good enough lately to where it would be a real disappointment if we weren't able to contend for each race over the next three weeks."


Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Texas Motor Speedway:
"Texas is a really fast track and I enjoy racing there. There are multiple grooves around the track which make for interesting racing. Anytime you can go somewhere and actually pass and run different groves around the track you know you are in for a good race. We had a really good car here in the spring and we are bringing that same car here this time around. Hopefully we can get the same result and get a win for iLevel in their last race this year with us."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Texas Motor Speedway:
"The season is winding down and I'm hoping we can finish as strong as we started. We are bringing the same car that won in the spring race at Texas and most recently finished third at Dover despite getting a little banged up. Matt and the team have a lot of confidence in this car so I think we should be able to get a solid run in this weekend."

-credit: rfr

From motorsport.com

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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2007, 09:20:20 am »

~Race2Win

O'Reilly Challenge - Matt Kenseth Notes

Matt Kenseth
1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway
Fort Worth, Tex.

Race Schedule
NASCAR Busch Series: O'Reilly Challenge
Saturday, November 3
3:00 PM Eastern - ESPN2/PRN

Matt Kenseth - NBS Advance Team: No.17 iLevel by Weyerhaeuser Ford Fusion Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer Chassis: RK- 360 last ran Dover – finished third

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Texas Motor Speedway:
"Texas is a really fast track and I enjoy racing there. There are multiple grooves around the track which make for interesting racing. Anytime you can go somewhere and actually pass and run different groves around the track you know you are in for a good race. We had a really good car here in the spring and we are bringing that same car here this time around. Hopefully we can get the same result and get a win for iLevel in their last race this year with us.”

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Texas Motor Speedway: “The season is winding down and I’m hoping we can finish as strong as we started. We are bringing the same car that won in the spring race at Texas and most recently finished third at Dover despite getting a little banged up. Matt and the team have a lot of confidence in this car so I think we should be able to get a solid run in this weekend.”

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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2007, 03:51:13 pm »

Valliant Effort Comes Up Short for Kenseth at Texas
Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 USG Sheetrock/DEWALT Ford Fusion Racing Team
Texas Motor Speedway/November 4, 2007

 
Fort Worth, Tex. (November 4, 2007) -- Matt Kenseth put on one of the best driving displays you’ll ever see in the waning laps of Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.  Kenseth was leading when Jimmie Johnson caught him with 19 laps remaining.  Johnson was much faster and on four fresh tires, compared to Kenseth’s two, and appeared as if he would make short work of the No. 17 USG Sheetrock/DEWALT Ford Fusion.  But Kenseth, fighting a loose racecar, fought Johnson off, corner after corner, for the next 17-and-a-half laps, sliding sideways on several occasions and making contact once; doing everything he possibly could do to keep Johnson behind him.  Until coming out of turn two, heading to the white flag, Johnson finally cleared Kenseth as was able to pull away.  For the second time at Texas this season, Kenseth had to settle for second after a memorable late-race duel. 

In front of a Texas-sized crowd of over 150,000, Martin Truex Jr. led the field to the green flag for Sunday’s race at 3:37 PM Eastern.  Kenseth rolled off 18th and knew that he had his work cut out him.  Kenseth was happy with the car on Friday, but felt it needed improvement from the final two practice sessions on Saturday.

By the time Kenseth came to pit road for the first time under caution on lap 16, he had worked his way up to the 13th position.  Robbie Reiser made the call for two tires and returned the No. 17 Ford back to the track in the fourth position.

Kenseth reported the car being loose on entry into the corners, but tight in the middle and a little too free off the corner.  It was a condition that Kenseth fought for much of the evening, but as the race wore on Reiser and company made the adjustments necessary to improve the handling.

During the early stage of the race, the field was shuffled because of different pit strategies.  After another two-tire stop on lap 37, Kenseth was running in the 19th position because of the number of cars that had stayed out.

The first green-flag stop of the day occurred on lap 88.  Kenseth was running in the 16th position when the cycle of stops began and thanks to a solid stop by the “Killer Bees,” he cycled out in the 14th spot.

For the next 80 laps, Kenseth toiled between the 11th and 15th position until lap176 when he was finally able to break into the top 10.  Reporting that he needed more grip because he was still “tight in the center and loose off,” Kenseth came to pit road under green on lap 189, cycling in 10th and cycling out in the eighth position.

The stop of the day came under caution on lap 214 when Kenseth drove onto pit road in the sixth position and after a 12.25-second, four-tires-and-fuel stop, emerged in the second position.

When the field restarted on lap 218, Kenseth immediately charged to the high side of the leader in turn one and grabbed the lead coming off of turn two.  Kenseth kept the blue and red USG Ford out front until a pit stop on lap 274 under caution, with only 59 laps remaining.  Kenseth returned to the track in third when Reiser sent word that, just like last week in Atlanta, he needed to “conserve fuel.” 

Thankfully, it would not come down to fuel strategy as a caution on lap 298 regrouped the field and sent them to pit road for the final stop of the evening.  The call was made for two tires and fuel in order to maintain track position with 30 laps to go.  But, only four or five cars took on two tires and the rest elected for four. 

Kenseth restarted second but immediately went to the high side again in turns one and two to take the top spot away and begin to set sail.  Knowing that cars with four fresh tires would be coming soon, Kenseth pressed as hard as he could to build the largest lead possible before those cars cleared traffic.

On lap 315, just 19 laps from the finish, Johnson had closed onto Kenseth’s rear bumper and appeared poised to make the pass for the lead with relative ease.  Kenseth radioed the crew, “If I run any faster, I’ll wreck it.”  But, what Kenseth managed to do over the final 19 laps was nothing short of amazing.

Admittedly driving over his head, Kenseth used every inch of the race track and every trick in the book to keep the faster car behind him.  Since Kenseth knew his car was loose off the corner, he kept Johnson below him on the race track which allowed Kenseth to keep the down force he needed for handling and, at the same time, quell Johnson’s momentum off the turns.  This familiar duel, virtually identical to the spring race when Kenseth held off Jeff Burton for 15 of 16 laps at the end to the race, lasted for the next 17 laps, with Kenseth holding the high line and Johnson challenging down low, but never quite able to make the pass. 

At one point with four laps to go, Johnson appeared as if he may have finally cleared Kenseth when the No. 17 Ford jumped sideways off of turn four.  But, Kenseth stayed on the gas and motored alongside Johnson as the two made slight contact heading into the tri-oval.

Alas, for everything that Kenseth did, Johnson, whose car was faster at the time and on fresher left-side tires, finally cleared Kenseth as the two entered the back stretch while coming to the white flag.  Once around Kenseth, Johnson was able to hold him at arms length and Kenseth had to settle for second – a second straight time at Texas.

"I just saw him closing in on me,” Kenseth said.  “He was way faster than me. He had four and we had two. I think two is definitely the right call. I thought we got out there so far we were going to have a shot, but you can just never count them guys out. Jimmie's just a great race-car driver and Chad does a great job on the box, and they have much confidence and they got four tires on it. I can't believe more people didn't get two. That would've helped us a little bit. But I saw him coming, did everything I could to hold him off. I was too loose anyway, and those two tires just couldn't hang on to it."

AT THE END YOU ALMOST LOST IT A COUPLE OF TIMES. WAS THAT A CONCERN?
"I was probably a little too far over my head. If I had to do it over again and I knew I was going to get beat, I probably wouldn't have ran Jimmie quite as hard as I did, because I thought I lost my car once and probably would've taken him with me. But, Jimmie's a great driver, I knew he was probably going to be pretty patient, racing for the championship, and we haven't won in forever.  So, we were racing hard, trying to keep the win and just couldn't do it."

NEXT UP:
Checker Auto Parts 500
One-mile Phoenix International Raceway
Avondale, Ariz.
Sunday, Nov. 11, 2007

About Roush Fenway Racing

Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating 14 motorsports teams, five in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; five in the Busch Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Todd Kluever, Michel Jourdain Jr. and Danny O’Quinn Jr.; and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Edwards, Peter Shepherd, Travis Kvapil, Erik Darnell and T.J. Bell; and one in the ARCA/REMAX Series with Colin Braun and Darnell.


~RFR
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2007, 03:57:42 pm »

Kenseth Falls Short of Repeating Texas Win and Finishes Fifth
Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 iLevel Ford Fusion Racing Team
Texas Motor Speedway/November 3, 2007


FORT WORTH, Texas (November 3, 2007) –Looking at practice times on Friday it appeared as if Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 iLevel team were struggling, but crew chief Drew Blickensderfer was not worried. He knew the car was good in race trim and it was a proven chassis since it is the same car that won in the spring race.  Kenseth qualified 25th, but wasted no time making his move towards the front.  Unfortunately a repeat win was not in the teams’ future due to handling issues.  Kenseth struggled to relay to the team if the car was tight or loose.  The team made some air pressure and wedge adjustments and got the No. 17 iLevel Ford Fusion handling well enough to earn a fifth-place finish.

Kenseth and his team didn’t post the times they would have liked during Friday’s practice sessions, but were not worried because they knew the car would handle well in race trim.  Kenseth qualified the No. 17 iLevel Ford Fusion 25th, but wasted little time moving forward through the field.  Kenseth jumped from 25th to 17th on the first lap and was up to 15th by the time the first caution came out just three laps into the 200-lap race.  The car was real tight back in traffic so Kenseth’s plan was to continue towards the front. 

The next caution came out on lap 20, but the handling problems had begun and Kenseth only had moved up into 13th.  “I have no idea what to adjust,” said Kenseth.  “I can’t tell if it’s loose or if it’s tight.”  Blickensderfer made the call to bring Kenseth in under caution for adjustments.  Kenseth pitted for fuel, an air pressure adjustment, a wedge adjustment and just took two tires in an attempt to gain track position.  The plan worked and Kenseth restarted in the second position. 

From there Kenseth held his ground fluctuating around in the top 10, but still struggled with a car that was loose and tight.  The more laps Kenseth ran the more he determined his car was on the loose side.  His next opportunity to pit came under caution on lap 89.  This time around he came in for fuel, four tires and an air pressure adjustment.  He came out sitting 10th for the green-flag restart on lap 94. 

Kenseth quickly realized something was wrong with his car.  He was very loose and thought he had a wheel out of balance.  The crew was on alert knowing Kenseth could have to make an emergency pit stop at any time.  Kenseth could barely hang on, he wasn’t sure if the wheel was breaking or if a wheel was loose.  He held on until the caution came out on lap 127 and then decided to come down pit road to have the tire fixed.  His crew gave him four tires, fuel and a left-rear wedge adjustment.  They completed the adjustments and Kenseth gained one position on pit road, setting him up ninth for the remaining 68 laps.

Kenseth continued to gain track position despite battling a loose-handling race car.  The last 60 laps of the 200-lap race went green flag which spread the field out.  Kenseth did the best he could to make up the most track position possible and ultimately finished fifth.

“We just struggled with the handling of our car this weekend,” said Kenseth.  “Usually our Busch car handles really well and we struggle with the set-up on the Cup car, but this weekend it was the other way around.  I would have liked to been up there contending for the win, but fifth is pretty good considering how much our handling was off.”   


About Roush Fenway Racing

Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating 13 motorsports teams, five in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; five in the Busch Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Todd Kluever, Michel Jourdain Jr. and Danny O’Quinn Jr.; and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Edwards, Peter Shepherd, Travis Kvapil, Erik Darnell and T.J. Bell; and one in the ARCA/REMAX Series with Colin Braun and Darnell.

~RFR
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