When we last saw Matt Kenseth he finished in the 18th place at Chicagoland Speedway. That was pretty impressive considering he had a broken shock that needed to be replaced during the race. Luckily the crew was able to make the fix, but his final result dropped him to the 11th position in the points. He comes into the Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway looking to turn that around. Things could be worse though, he could be Jeff Gordon whose crash at Chicagoland has put him in a 47 point hole behind Keselowski.
For this weekend, will Kenseth gamble more or less or even not at all? “I don’t know. You always try to do the best you can with it with the idea of trying to win every week. I don’t think that ever changes. You never try to call a race or drive a race car or do any of that to lose or not get a better position, so I think you always try to get the best shot that you think you can for that particular day to get a win.” Kenseth said that during his meeting with the media Friday morning. I guess what I take from that is let’s see what the race gives us on Sunday, and we’ll go from there. Obviously when you’re 11th in points, you don’t want to show your hand.
Kenseth did comment on the mentality of the race is one of a short track. New Hampshire is obviously bigger than a Bristol or Martinsville, being 1 mile versus half miles, but the action is fierce and close. He commented that the team struggles to get the front end of their car to turn and still have rear grip. It was interesting that, at least for his team, they don’t have a short track car or an intermediate car, they go for the best one. Said Kenseth “I don’t have any special cars right now that I feel are a lot better than any other one, so it doesn’t really mean a lot to me.”
The key for Kenseth’s race will be in qualifying, something he’s traditionally struggled with. “It is hard to pass and the closer you are to the front anytime you’re in a race, the better off you are,” he remarked. Look for him to try and be near the front when the green flag flies in the race. Qualifying is at 3:30 PM, not shown on TV but tape deleted at 10 PM on SPEED, and the race is 2 PM on ESPN.