Ford Michigan Cup Qualifying (Matt Kenseth Qualifying Press Conference)


Helluva Good! 400(Qualifying) June 18, 2011

Michigan International Speedway
American Muscle

MATT KENSETH PRESS CONFERENCE TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING RUN. “I thought it was a great lap. We aren’t really known for qualifying and to qualify third is really good for us. When you look at the times and are only a couple hundredths off, you maybe wish you could do it again. I felt like we got everything we could out of the car and I don’t think we could have done any better in one and two and we were just a little loose in three and four. It was a great lap and they did a great job being ready for qualifying this week. We posted a pretty good lap in practice in case in rained and back it up today and improve on the practice time. It was great. It should be a good pit stall and I can’t wait for tomorrow.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS RACE BEING IN THE MANUFACTURERS BACK YARD AND HAVE YOU SEEN OR HAD ANY INPUT ON THE 2013 CAR? “Every race is important to me. If you can do good or something goes good and can win then I guess it is probably extra special for Jack and Ford and those people around here and headquartered here. To me you want to do good at every race. When you come to a track you feel like maybe is one of your better tracks sometimes you feel, not extra pressure, but want to take advantage of that at your good places. You want to try to perform when you can. And no I haven’t seen anything to do with the new car yet.”

THE NEXT TWO RACES, YOU WILL HAVE DIFFERENT PEOPLE AT THE FRONT, HOW CAN THAT CHANGE THINGS UP IN THE COMING WEEKS WITH POINTS AND WILD CARD? “I don’t look at it a lot different than any other season but every season it isn’t like you study the schedule but you know what is coming up and what tracks are historically your strong suits and which ones have not been. Looking ahead to the next three weeks, historically this has been one of our better places and certainly we want to take advantage of that and get a good finish out of that. Sears Point is probably one of my worst tracks where I am not real coordinated at to say the least. Daytona, I haven’t made it to the end of a plate race yet this year. This new style of shoving and all that stuff and Daytona being a lot hotter I think that might change things a little bit. You never know what will happen there, kind of like at Talladega. You could win the race or finish dead last and your chances probably isn’t real different for either one of them depending on how things go. Yeah, it could be a big swing in the points through those couple of weeks.”

DO YOU THINK THE HEAT AT DAYTONA WILL AFFECT THE PUSHING STRATEGY? “I don’t think that will change a lot for cooling but I think the track will be slicker. My car was a little bit wrecked the first time at Daytona but back in the middle of the pack it was a lot different than it was at the front. It wasn’t nearly as easy to shove people around like it was at Talladega. With it being hotter I think it gives the possibility of the cars not handling as good and being able to spin people out easier. There are people that get spun out by getting pushed and I think that is going to be a little easier to have that happen than it would be in February. It might not be, but I think it might be.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE PROGRESS YOUR SON ROSS HAS MADE IN HIS DRIVING CAREER? “Yeah, he has been doing really well and having a great season. He has won quite a few races this season and is leading the Midwest Tour points right now. He is actually racing tonight and is racing Berlin next Tuesday. He has had a heck of a year and I am pretty proud of him that he got in Clemson and yes it made me feel old going to freshman orientation with him on Thursday. I got to go check that out and that was a little different. I wasn’t smart enough to go to college. It is crazy to think that he is doing all of that.”

KURT BUSCH JUST GOT HIS THIRD STRAIGHT POLE. HOW HARD IS THAT TO DO AS A DRIVER? “I don’t think I have had three poles in 12 years so we will have to ask David. It is pretty hard for me to get a pole every three years, so I have no idea.”

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO HAVE TO DEFEND YOURSELF AS A DRIVER FOR THINGS LIKE WHAT THE GIBBS GUYS ARE GOING THROUGH RIGHT NOW? “I don’t even know where to go with that. I don’t know an answer for that question really. You go bring the fastest race car you can to the track and they are going to bring stuff that they think are going to make your car faster that is within the rules. Even if that is a gray area and there is not a written rule for it or whatever it is. The height thing at Pocono I have no idea what happened there. As crazy rough as that track is all the cars probably should have been low there afterwards. It is ridiculously bumpy to be going 200 mph there. I can see how something could happen there and it would be an honest mistake. The oil pan thing I don’t know much about. They tried to do something there to probably get the ballast where they want and make the chassis stiffer and do all that. I don’t know for sure that there is really a rule against that, I guess they just didn’t send it in to get it approved. I don’t think that is that big of a deal.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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