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« No one able to trim Busch and other notes from Watkins Glen | Main | NASCAR schedule needs more variety »

Kenseth in good shape as Chase approaches

By admin | August 12, 2008

By Richard Allen

Matt Kenseth's crew has to feel good about their preparations for the Chase

Matt Kenseth entered the Centurion Boats at The Glen in 13th place of the overall standings, just outside the all important Top 12. Even he would have probably admitted his chances were not too good for moving up in the standings on a road course. No doubt, he was just hoping to get through the race without losing very much ground and move on to tracks where he is more comfortable.

Kenseth did better than just get through the race. His 12th place result allowed him to actually move up a spot into 12th place of the points standings.

This might not have been thought too likely had his record on road courses been taken into account. Over the course of his career, he has had only four Top 10 finishes in 18 starts on these type tracks. Kenseth has led only one lap road courses.

On Saturday he drove to a solid 3rd place finish in the Nationwide event held at Watkins Glen International in preparation for the Sprint Cup race.

Now, with four races remaining before the Chase for the Championship cutoff occurs, the circuit heads to tracks in which the Cambridge, Wisconsin driver will almost certainly feel more comfortable.

Next, the series stops off in Michigan where Kenseth has recorded two wins and 12 Top 10s. Then, the Bristol Motor Speedway follows. He has tallied two wins, both in the August night race, and ten Top 10s on the East Tennessee half-mile.

On Labor Day weekend the race will be in California. Percentage wise, this is one of the driver of car #17’s best tracks. In only 13 attempts he has two wins and nine Top 10s to give him an average finish of 9.9 at Fontana.

The 26th race of the season, and the final race before the Chase cutoff, is held at the Richmond International Raceway. There, Kenseth has recorded one win and nine Top 10s.

Having been as low as 22nd in points going into the Darlington race on Mother’s Day weekend, the Roush Fenway Racing #17 team has done a remarkable job of getting themselves back into contention for a season title. After a solid run at Watkins Glen they have to feel good about their chances over the next four races considering their driver’s record on the upcoming tracks.

After Richmond, when teams look back at what they did or did not do to make the Chase, this team may well look back on the race at Watkins Glen as a key moment in their season.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

Topics: Articles |

6 Responses to “Kenseth in good shape as Chase approaches”

  1. Elaine Says:
    August 14th, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Aaah, but we all know that the NON-race in Indy was the key moment. I thought the interesting comment was before the Watkins Glen race when it was stated that they would not use a rain tire in the Cup race, but would for the Nationwide race. The reason was “competition in the Cup series is too important”. Once again, what about Indy, the race controlled by no one but Nascar.

  2. Doug Says:
    August 14th, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    I agree. Folks need to remember that he has a new crew chief this year. When they started qualifying better, they started finishing better. I think Matt and Chip are communicating better and Bolin is putting him in better cars.

  3. Micah Says:
    August 16th, 2008 at 12:43 am

    Matt is still the most under-rated NASCAR driver! He is a great guy on & off the track, which is the reason he I am a Kenseth FANattic! 22 to 12th…everyone wrote him off including good ole D.W.

  4. Robert D. Says:
    August 18th, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I Do most surely agree 100% the guy that said,”Matt Is the most “UNDER-RATED- ” Driver on the Circuit !!!! I’m into Trading card’s and NHRA….And i notice on the front of the box’s; Everyone that i know of has been on the cover is either a “Champion” from past to present,driver’s such as:
    1)Bobby Labonte 2) Dale Earnhardt (for sure…) Dale,Jr.3)& so on….And same goes for T.V. Commercial’s..1)Texas Terry(that’s o.k….i’m a Texan also) Jeff Gordon,Kevin Harvick,Jimmie Johnson, & again so on….?
    Why don’t they EVER Advertise MATT KENSETH?I’ll tell’ya why? They think he is a no-body (which) folk’s lying to themselve’s Know he is “Darn Good Ole’ Driver!!!!
    “Ya,? “I GUESS HE IS SORRY RACER HUH?:…..HE JUST HAS A 2003 CHAMPIONSHIP under his belt”!”wHO WANT’S A GUY THAT EVERYTIME HE wIN’S aUTOMATICALLY GETS OUT OF HIS CAR….”Bend over a bow’s to the fan’s as if-
    He thought they loved him…..”N–O–T”!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Atfer all,
    “Go look up his history since his Rookie year (in 2000).
    In win’s 17- Made 187 Top 5’s, Made Also huge 154 Top-10’s.So too you all who hate’s and dislikes him….Eat your heart out People.At least Matt can Also control his temper as to where Tony Stewart , Kyle Busch, Robby Gordon, (Jeff)Gordon at time’s?- Kevin Harvick, aND I COULD KEEP ON, SO I’M FINISHING WITH THIS Statement…..”he whom Laugh’s…won’t get the last laugh.

  5. Fred Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    I watched The 17 since 2000 and Was so Supprised How Good Of A Race Car Driver He Was…My Option Dale Jr Sucks Hardly Wins Can Get A Champion Ship And He Isnt Consitent Like The 17..Kenseth Will Make The 2008 Chace And Have A Good Chance Of Winning I Gurentee It…..We Belive In 17!!!!!!!!!

  6. joe Says:
    August 22nd, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    well i agree with everybody on this website. kenseth is the most under rated driver due to the reason that he makes his move under the radar. he may be 25th in the race at some point in a race but when it comes down to it at the end of the race your mirror is full of matt kenseth. is there any other driver that you know of that has made that big of a move in the points at any point in time in nascar history. if so how about making that move after there was a major crew cheif change. i think matt will make the 2008 chase and will be a major factor for the championship. KENSETH ALL THE WAY…… I AM A BELIEVER OF THE 17 TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!