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Checker Auto Parts 500 ~ Arizona Travel 200

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Darnell99Fan
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« on: November 06, 2007, 05:59:53 pm »

~Race2Win

Checker Auto Parts 500 - Matt Kenseth Notes
Matt Kenseth
One-mile Phoenix International Raceway
Avondale, Ariz.

Race Schedule
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Checker Auto Parts 500
Sunday, November 11
3:00 PM Eastern - ABC/MRN

NASCAR Busch Series: Arizona.Travel 200
Saturday, November 10
4:00 PM Eastern - ESPN2/MRN

FAST FACTS

Matt Kenseth’s second-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway last Sunday marked the fourth time in five consecutive Cup races at Texas, where he has finished in the top three.
Kenseth’s second-place finish marked the 140th top-10 finish of his career in 290 starts (48%). It’s the 20th top 10 for Kenseth in the 2007 Cup Series, making it the second consecutive year Kenseth has reach 20 top 10s in Cup.
With the second-place finish at Texas, Kenseth has now strung together three straight top-five finishes; the second time he has done so this season. The first time being: Fontana (1st), Las Vegas (4th), and Atlanta (3rd) during Feb. and Mar.
Kenseth’s average finish during the Chase at PIR is 27.0; ranking ninth among all Chase tracks.
For the third time in 2007, Kenseth’s No. 17 Ford Fusion will be painted black with the DEWALT NANO Technology paint scheme. Kenseth will also run the scheme at Homestead in the season finale.

Matt Kenseth – NNCS ADVANCE
Team: No. 17 DEWALT NANO Technology Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-475 Only previous outing: Richmond, Sept. ’07 – finished 14th
RK-458 Has served as a backup in six races, yet to see action

Kenseth on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:“I’ve always enjoyed racing at Phoenix and we’ve had some success there in the past. We weren’t too bad there in the spring and I think we should be able to compete this weekend. Hopefully we’ll continue to make up some ground with the COT and continue the momentum we’ve gained the past three weeks. We’ve only got two more chances to get a win and with the way our cars have performed down the stretch, it would be a shame not to pick up a win here at the end.

“Texas was a tough one to take, but, looking back on it, it was a pretty good finish for us. We never really had a top-five car until the end of the race. Robbie and the guys did a great job working on the car all day. We weren’t too good with the sun out, but once it went down our car was pretty fast. We were probably a third-place car but got the track position we needed there at the end. I don’t think I could’ve done anything different that would’ve helped us win the race besides wrecking, and that’s never a good option.”

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:“We’re taking the same car we took to Richmond and we’ve done a good bit of work to it since then. With the way we’ve ran the last two times out with the COT, we’ll be hoping for the same sort of performance this weekend. We were probably good enough to win at Dover but had engine troubles then we ran fifth at Martinsville, which is practically like a win for us at that place. We finished fifth out in Phoenix in the spring so I’d say, with the way we’re running, expectations are pretty high heading out there.

“I can’t say enough about how this team has performed of late. We had a string of terrible luck and got pretty far down in the points and we were really out of the Chase before it got started. But, they didn’t hang their head and feel sorry for themselves, they’ve fought back and we’ve put together a nice little streak in the past three races. We’ve had cars capable of wining the last two weeks and came up a little bit short, but as long as we keep getting ourselves in position to win, then we’ll get one of these before too long.”

« Last Edit: November 06, 2007, 06:04:00 pm by Darnell99Fan » Report Spam   Report to moderator   Logged


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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2007, 06:06:02 pm »

~Race2Win

Arizona.Travel 200 - Matt Kenseth Notes

Matt Kenseth
One-mile Phoenix International Raceway
Avondale, Ariz.

Race Schedule
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Checker Auto Parts 500
Sunday, November 11
3:00 PM Eastern - ABC/MRN

NASCAR Busch Series: Arizona.Travel 200
Saturday, November 10
4:00 PM Eastern - ESPN2/MRN

Matt Kenseth - NBS Advance Team:
No.17 Arby’s Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK-395 Last ran Richmond; finished 4th

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Phoenix International Raceway: "Phoenix is a great track to race at. Each corner drives differently and you really have to have your car set-up well in order to be competitive. If it’s not set-up right then you are in for a long day, but you’ll have that at any track. We’ve had a lot of good runs so far this season, but just haven’t pulled off as many wins as we should have. Phoenix is a track we generally run pretty well at so hopefully we can continue that tradition and get a good run for Arby’s.”

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Phoenix International Raceway: “The season is winding down quickly. We only have two races left so the whole team is really anxious to get another win. I think we’ve had some of the cars to get the job done, but have come up a little short. This is our last race with Arby’s this season so we are really excited to get out there and get a good run for them.”

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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2007, 10:59:19 am »

Kenseth’s Hot Streak Continues in Phoenix with Third-Place Finish; Up to Sixth in the Point Standings

~RFR

AVONDALE, AZ (November 11, 2007) – Matt Kenseth’s month-long, top-five streak continue on Sunday in Phoenix. Kenseth, sporting the black DEWALT NANO Technology colors, took the lead via pit strategy on lap 139 and stubbornly held on to the lead for a race-high 93 laps. Kenseth came to pit road for what was planning to be the final stop of the day on lap 235 and exited first among cars who took four tires. Kenseth quickly took the lead and began to set sail, but a caution on lap 270 sent nearly everyone to pit road for tires. Kenseth emerged third, behind two cars that stayed out. But, before Kenseth could dispense with the two cars in front of him and navigate through lapped traffic, eventual winner, Jimmie Johnson, snuck by and was able to pull away. Still, Kenseth held on for a third-place finish, his fourth consecutive top-five finish, and vaults four spots in the championship point standings, into sixth, with only one race remaining.

Warm, sunny skies greeted a capacity crowd of 105,000 as Carl Edwards led the field to the green flag for the start of the Checker Auto Parts 500 at 1:51 PM Mountain. Kenseth rolled off 18th and felt confident with the No. 17 Ford’s performance from the previous two days at the one-mile oval in the desert.

After an early pit stop with adjustments on lap 26, Kenseth restarted 16th and was poised to make his charge. By lap 58, Kenseth had cracked the top 10 and was looking for more. When the next caution flag flew on lap 87, Kenseth was in the seventh position and after a 13.31-second stop returned to the track in the sixth spot.

Kenseth had worked his way up to the fifth position when the caution flag flew on lap 108. Crew chief Robbie Reiser called Kenseth to pit road but many of the leaders chose to stay out. This left Kenseth returning to the track in the 17th position, but on fresh tires. With the new rubber, Kenseth wasted no time racing back inside the top 10.

When the caution flag waved again on lap 139 the cars that had yet pitted during that cycle of stops, did so and turned the lead over to Kenseth in the process. Once the field restarted, Kenseth set sail, leading the next 49 laps until having to come to pit road under green on lap 188. Kenseth came to the pits with the lead, but because he was on a different pit cycle than some of the leaders, returned in the 30th position.

Fortunately, the race stayed green until everyone had cycled through pit stops and Kenseth was again out in front on lap 222. Kenseth remained there until a caution on lap 233 bunched the field and sent everyone to pit road. Entering with the lead, the “Killer Bees” turned out a 12.79-second four-tires-and-fuel pit stop to get Kenseth out in front of all others who took four tires; behind only one that elected to take two tires.

On the ensuing restart Kenseth wasted no time dispensing with the leader and again setting sail. Kenseth’s lead had grown to nearly two seconds over the second-place car and the No. 17 DEWALT NANO Technologies Ford was pulling away. But, a caution on lap 270 again slowed the action and sent several different pit strategies into play.

Two cars stayed on the track, but Kenseth led the rest of the lead-lap cars onto pit road for the final stop. Reiser made the call for two tires, which is what nearly everyone did, along with no adjustments. Kenseth beat everyone out of the pits and restarted third.

Taking the green on lap 275, just 37 laps from the finish, Kenseth worked to clear the two cars in front of him as well as several lapped cars in the process. While the leader had briefly pulled away, the fight for second was on between Kenseth and Johnson to see who could clear the lapped traffic first.

Using the lapped machine as a “pick,” Johnson maneuvered around Kenseth and into second, but was in clean air first and able to distance himself from the No. 17 machine. By the time the two passed the leader, Johnson had pulled ahead by nearly one second.

Kenseth fought hard to climb back to the No. 48’s bumper, but to no avail. Over the final 10 laps, Kenseth slipped back to third when teammate, Greg Biffle, came on strong at the end. Still, Kenseth crossed the finish line third, his fourth consecutive top-five finish and 12th top five of 2007. More importantly, Kenseth made a major jump in the championship point standings moving from 10th, heading into Sunday’s race, all the way up to sixth as the circuit heads to the 2007 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“I think overall it was a great run for us,” said Kenseth. “We got a great finish out of it. Obviously, I’m disappointed. We had a big lead there and there was so much debris out there we got that caution to get all of that cleaned up. I wish we could have run to the end, but yet even with that we still got lined back up and had a good pit stop and came out ahead of all the guys that got tires and I just couldn’t get it done. I just didn’t have enough grip on two tires and that one lapped car kind of got in my way and Jimmie snuck by there and once he snuck by it was over and I just couldn’t catch him.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS WHEN GUYS ARE OFF SEQUENCE DURING THE RACE?

“It’s kind of interesting when you’re the guy out there on the oldest tires and people are blowing by you, and then when you come and get new tires you catch them so fast and drive by them. It actually, in a way if it works out for you, it’s more fun because there are cars that are all kinds of different speed. These cars run so close to the same speed that when you get them on different tires, then you do a lot of passing and people are passing you a lot, so that makes it interesting. You have to pay a lot of attention, but we really got lucky the way it worked out. Robbie told me to pit, but then when everybody else was on the race track and we were on pit road he kind of wanted us to do what the leader did, so it actually worked out. We got lucky and that’s what got our track position and got us to lead all those laps and be up there, so we got fortunate. We had the track position. I thought all of the pit calls were right. We had great pit stops. We did everything right, we just got beat there at the end again.”

NEXT UP:
Ford 400 ~2007 SEASON FINALE~
1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead, Fla.
Sunday, Nov. 18, 2007






Again, Kenseth Nearly Wins at Phoenix
Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Arby’s Ford Fusion Racing Team
Phoenix International Raceway/November 10, 2007



AVONDALE, Arizona (November 10, 2007) – Driving the No. 17 Arby’s Ford Fusion for the 13th and final time of 2007, Matt Kenseth gave it his all to win “free fries for America,” in Saturday’s Arizona.Travel 200 at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway. Kenseth started ninth but drove to the top spot by lap 74 and staked his claim as a contender just before the halfway point of the 200 lap event. But, on lap 100, Kenseth began to feel what would be a bit of set back as something was amiss with his power steering. Still, Kenseth toiled in the top three for the rest of the event and by lap 154 was running in second closing on the leader, and eventual winner, Kyle Busch. Kenseth had one more shot at the leader when a late caution set up a green-white-checker finish, but Kenseth’s car was better on the long haul and in the two-lap sprint wasn’t able to overcome the leader and forced to settle for a second-place finish

Clear-blue skies welcomed the crowd on hand as Clint Bowyer led the field of 43 to the green flag for Saturday’s event at 2:44 PM Mountain. Kenseth started ninth but had no intention of staying there for long.

Kenseth had moved up to the sixth position when the field came to pit road for the first time under caution on lap 45. Kenseth reported the car being too tight in the middle and too loose off, asking for “more grip all around.” The No. 17 Arby’s crew turned out an excellent four-tires-and-fuel pit stop and exited third among the cars that took four tires - ninth overall.

Once the field restarted on lap 49, Kenseth wasted no time in coming to the front. By lap 53, Kenseth was up to the fifth position and on lap 74 Kenseth made the pass for the lead, bringing the Arby’s Ford Fusion to the head of the field. Busch joined the mix on lap 85 and it quickly became obvious that it was going to be a two-man race between Kenseth and Busch.

But, on lap 100, Kenseth reported that he felt his power steering going away. As the race wore on, Kenseth diagnosed the issue as a problem in the steering box that would stick when he attempted to turn left. The condition worsened as the run wore on and the heat rose within the compartment.

Kenseth came to pit road for the last time on the afternoon on lap 117 and after four tires and fuel returned to the track in the third position with only 83 laps remaining.

A fortuitous break came Kenseth’s way on lap 138 as a major pileup brought the field to a halt under the red-flag conditions. As the field remained parked, with the engines off for over six minutes, Kenseth’s machine, including the steering box, had the opportunity to cool and therefore help alleviate the problem. On the ensuing restart, Kenseth took advantage of the better steering, immediately moving into second and gaining ground on the leader.

It became evident that Kenseth’s No. 17 Ford was the best car on the track in the long run; unfortunately there were no more long runs during the race. Kenseth was hard on Busch’s bumper for much of the final 50 laps, but cautions slowed the race four times during the final 50 laps.

The final caution flag waved on lap 198 setting up a green-white-checker finish. Kenseth restarted second, but wasn’t able to run down Busch over the final two circuits and had to settle for a second-place finish; his seventh second-place finish of 2007.

“We were a little bit off of Kyle there at the end,” Kenseth explained. “In a long run, we were a lot closer to him then when we were in a short run. We never really exactly got the long run needed. I found a spot that worked for me good and three and four and he was smart enough to get in that spot and I really couldn't get around him on the bottom down there. I could get him a little bit in one and two, but not enough to get down there and complete the pass. It was a good race for us. We ran pretty good, we were just a tick off and he was just a little better than us all day.”

HOW TOUGH WAS DRIVING WITHOUT POWER STEERING?
“I think it really wasn't that bad. Physically it wasn't that hard to turn but at the end of the run, it would stick wherever you had it. It was really hard to feel the front tires. You'd give it so much wheel that you couldn't tell if the tires were chattering or not. You'd have to give it some more. It was tough for that and was tough to catch it if you got loose. Physically it wasn't really that hard, you just couldn't really feel the front tires the way you needed to. If you build a car with manually steering, it's not hard to steer. Not many of us are old enough any more but before they made power steering in passenger cars, they weren't harder to steer than the cars with power steering because they built them for that. And we build our cars like that. When you build cars with power steering and it's hydraulic system and you lose the hydraulic system or power steering, it's 10 times hard than if you set it up not to have it.”




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