By admin | January 12, 2009
By Richard Allen
Over the next few days and weeks I will be presenting a review of 2008 and a preview of 2009 for each of the drivers and teams who appear to be set for a full time run in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. For the most part these pieces will run in order by car number. If you should miss out on your favorite driver simply type his name into the search box at the upper right hand portion of the website.
#17- Matt Kenseth
Matt Kenseth is the ultimate picture of consistency. He just seems to always be there. The 2003 Sprint Cup champion has never yet missed a Chase for the Championship since its inception in 2004. He and Jimmie Johnson are the only drivers who can make that claim.
However, Kenseth would no doubt like to improve on his 2008 season. While he again qualified for the Chase for the Championship, he was never a serious threat to win the title. And more, he failed to win a single race.
Kenseth did manage nine Top 5s and a respectable 20 Top 10 finishes during a ‘down’ year.
In 2009, Kenseth’s #17 Roush Fenway Racing team will be led by crew chief Drew Blickensderfer who comes to the Sprint Cup team from the RFR Nationwide Series garage. Blickensderfer has shown he can lead successful teams while heading up the Nationwide #17 and #60 crews over recent years.
In order to re-establish himself as a definite threat to win a second championship, Kenseth will need to return to victory lane in 2009 as well as continue to pile up the Top 10s as he has over the course of his career.
Three teams are going to dominate this season. RFR along with Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports will capture most of the victories. Kenseth drives for one of those teams and he will indeed win this year. And, he will be a serious contender come Chase time.
Driver: Matt Kenseth
Owner: Roush Fenway Racing
Sponsor: DeWalt, R & L Carriers, USG Sheetrock, Dish Network, Carhartt
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Scanner Frequencies(?): 458.4750 & 462.4500
Chances of making the Chase for the Championship: Hasn’t missed one yet. Not going to start now.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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