KENSETH BY THE NUMBERS: In 13 Sprint Cup Series career starts at Sonoma, Matt Kenseth has an average starting position of 19.4, an average finish of 20.8, and has finished within the top 15 in his last two races. Kenseth has completed 1,418 of 1,441 (98.4 percent) career laps at the 1.99-mile road course earning one top-10 finish (8th in 2008).
JOE GIBBS RACING AT SONOMA: Joe Gibbs Racing has 43 Sprint Cup Series starts at Sonoma Raceway and has earned three wins, 7 top-five, and 16 top-ten finishes. The organization has led for a total of 207 laps, has an average start of 16.7, an average finish of 16.4, and completed 4,447 of 4,549 (97.8 percent) laps.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: While road course racing is not the norm for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, teams still focus on making sure they practice turning left and right for the two road courses the series visits during the season. Matt Kenseth and his No. 20 team spent a day testing at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) at the end of May in preparation for this weekend’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma.
RACE INFO: Coverage of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway (1.99-mile) begins at 2:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 23rd. The race will be broadcast live on TNT, Sirius XM Channel 90 and PRN Radio.
Matt Kenseth: “The new car has been better everywhere this season, and I think racing at a road course is going to be no exception. The 2013 car is lighter, it’s got more downforce and it’s got more grip. It’s been better at every track we’ve been to, so it’s going to drive better than other cars have — whether that translates into performance for me and this team, I don’t really know. What’s challenging about Sonoma compared to other tracks is everything. It’s absolutely different – there are elevation changes, a lot of different turns with different radius’ and it’s just totally different than anywhere else we go.”
Crew chief Jason Ratcliff: “This weekend is the first weekend we’ll be racing the new 2013 car at a road course, and I have a feeling it’s going to be fairly different due to the new rules package. We went and tested at VIR a few weeks ago and we noticed at our test that the new tire Goodyear is bringing this weekend compared to what we ran there last year is quite different so that may affect strategy during the race. I’ve only been to Sonoma once prior to this weekend, even though I’ve been to Watkins Glen several times and know what to expect there, Sonoma is still fairly new for me.”
-Joe Gibbs Racing PR