Found April 20, 2013 on Start 'N' Park Blog:
Sharpie_500_qualifying_6bb9
MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Home Depot/Husky Tools Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing | Starting Position: 1st What made the lap so strong? “It’s not me, it’s everybody at TRD (Toyota Racing Development), JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Jason Ratcliff (crew chief) and the boys. Thank Home Depot, Husky Tools and Dollar General. This thing was kind of a struggle most of the day. I felt like I wasn’t giving Jason really the best feedback and they made awesome adjustments for qualifying — it was pretty bad to the bone.” What did you struggle with in practice? “I struggled in (turns) one and two all day and I tried something really different there qualifying — actually watching Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) and a couple other guys get through there. I kind of changed my approach to the corner and I thought I got through there pretty good, but, man, I didn’t think you could do any better in three and four. It felt pretty good. But I put them guys behind hitting the wall today and they did a great job fixing it and getting her tuned up for me.” How is the relationship between yourself and Jason Ratcliff? “It couldn’t really be any better. I really enjoy not just Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief), but really this whole group. It’s definitely the right place at the right time for me. I’ve been having a great time and we’ve been having some great runs and we have a lot of speed. Looking forward to the race Sunday.” What was the most important thing you looked for in Joe Gibbs Racing? “Well, the most important thing in my whole career has been having fast race cars. You’ve got to have first of all it’s about people and you have to have the equipment. So, I think having fast race cars I just — even though I didn’t know him, I had a really great feeling about Jason Ratcliff (crew chief) and it was really important for me to be teamed up with him. You can see everything that TRD (Toyota Racing Development) has done and how good their stuff runs and all that they put into the engineering, that side of it and the engine side of it. Kyle (Busch) and Denny (Hamlin) are really, really fast all the time, so I think having teammates that are as good as them guys — and, by the way, I’ve always had really good teammates and that always really helped you — but having guys like that. As you can see, Kyle won the last couple weeks. It just elevates your game more, makes you better, makes you a better driver, it challenges you more. There wasn’t really anything when I went and talked to Joe (Gibbs, owner) and J.D. (Gibbs, president) there wasn’t really any reservations at all about anything really. There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like. I liked everything I saw and just had a strong feeling about it then and obviously I still do now that it was the right place for me at the right time. Certainly I think we — it’s a little different right now with Denny (Hamlin) being out and Denny unfortunately being hurt, but certainly the three of us have spent a lot of time talking. We spend a lot of time talking throughout practice, during the week, after practice — all that kind of stuff. So, I think we work as close together as any teammates can work together. Do you enjoy racing at Kansas? “I’ve been comfortable — I really like the track. It’s one of those tracks when you first get on it and you come here with them first couple of runs, you have a hard time feeling where the edge is. Whenever you go to a new race track, you have to bring a relatively hard and durable tire just because the track has so much grip. Here and Michigan, it gets a little better every lap you run and the longer you’re here, but they’re difficult tracks to get the balance right.” Why are you so happy about this pole? “Just for a lot of reasons, but mainly because I didn’t think we had a chance of sitting on it really. It’s probably the fastest track we go to all year. I just wasn’t really expecting it. We thought about a lot and talked about a lot. Them guys made some great changes and we picked up a tenth and a half and a lot of people weren’t really picking up. Carl (Edwards) and Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) were a lot faster than the rest of the group by a pretty big margin by today’s standards. Everybody is usually within a half-a-tenth or so and I think they had a tenth or so on third. To run that kind of lap felt good. Go out late – you’re the second-to-last car to go out and then go out and jump over top of them guys was pretty fun.” Why are you a better qualifier now than earlier in your career? “Through the years it’s probably become more important. I think that the cars are more equal. I think if you want to go way back in time, there’s times where we never had qualifying engines, we just didn’t do a lot of that stuff that a lot of people really put a lot of time, money and effort into. In the days when I started, they just didn’t do that stuff over there. Then I think certainly when they went to impound races there was a big bump in our qualifying because everyone basically qualified what they raced and our race package was usually pretty good. I think that was a big bump in our starting position. The COT stuff and even this car, when we would race decent, we would usually qualify pretty decent, but if we were off all weekend then we wouldn’t qualify that well. I think everybody is a little more equal and we just have better cars and better qualifying setups.” KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing | Starting Position: 5th How was your lap? “Well, it was certainly a really good run for us. From what all we’ve gone through today whether it’s been on the Truck side or the Cup side, these guys really, really worked their butts off, so I can’t say enough about my crew and everybody on this team giving me a great M&M’s Camry to go out there and do my job with right now. It’s a good starting spot for us. I didn’t think we were allowed to keep our spot, but they said, ‘Yeah, we get to keep our start because we wrecked before qualifying,’ so I’m like, ‘Alright, well, I guess I won’t lollygag around. I’ve got to go get something here.’” What were the weather conditions like? “The wind is playing around a little bit out there. It’s a little bit inconsistent and I think that’s the biggest thing because you kind of don’t know what you’ve got. You’ve just got to drive through it.” MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing | Starting Position: 7th What do you think about featuring the Boston Marathon bib number your car? “Well, it’s a bib like they’d wear on their running uniforms, I guess you call them. It’s pretty cool really that Michael (Waltrip, co-owner) and Rob (Kaufmann, co-owner) and Ty (Norris, executive vice president) and everybody thought of this. It was really gracious of NAPA obviously and all of our sponsors of all of our MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) cars to let us put these numbers on the car. It’s obviously a terrible tragedy that happened in Boston this week and we’re thinking about all of our friends up in New England, that’s for sure. Hopefully, this will just show them that we’re thinking about them and just can’t really believe things like that keep happening, but it’s just a shame and we’re thinking about them. We just want them to know that. That’s why the number is on there like that.” Are you getting impatient with second-place finishes? “Seconds are good, right? We all want to win that’s for sure, but proud of the team and our efforts last week obviously. It was a great race for us and it’s a shame we couldn’t finish it off, but that’s part of racing. That’s how sometimes things just don’t bare your way and they certainly didn’t last week for us. So far, it’s been a great day for us in our NAPA Toyota. That wasn’t quite the lap we were looking for. We were better than that in practice and thought there was some more out there. I think we maybe messed up a little bit on the tires we went on. You come to these newer tracks and you have to go on scuffs because they’re faster and sometimes you don’t have enough practice laps to say, ‘Okay, do we want two-lap scuffs, four-lap scuffs, six-lap scuffs?’ I think we maybe put about one or two many laps on this set here. Still a good lap for us. We’ve got a great car and looking forward to the race on Sunday.” MARK MARTIN, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing | Starting Position: 8th How was your car? “This is the best our race car has been all year. We’re not getting the full potential out of it yet. That was not perfect, but it had more speed and it’s got the feel that it had last year, so tomorrow is going to be a really good practice for us to try to get it maximized. But, the car is working better than the other race tracks. I knew we were in trouble last week because it didn’t have the potential. We didn’t have the speed and it wasn’t in the car. Now, the car feels like it’s there and we just have got to tap into it.” Did you and Martin Truex Jr. find something today? “I think Clint’s (Bowyer) on it too. He slipped in qualifying. His car got loose. Them boys — those guys are good. Clint’s tough and Martin Truex Jr. is tough and he showed that last week. I feel good about where we’re at. I think that we’ve got more work to do, but we’ve made progress.” CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing | Starting Position: 10th What were the conditions like out there? “It’s just windy. I don’t know. We’ve just got to keep digging here, try to make the car have as much grip as possible on this new surface. That’s what you’ve got to have. You’ve got to work on balance and work hard tomorrow in practice. We’ll be fine.” BRIAN VICKERS, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing | Starting Position: 16th How was the qualifying lap? “It was not good. Quite honestly, I was shocked with how fast we were. When they said 28.50 (seconds), I was like, ’Whoa.’ I thought they were going to say it was 29.50. The whole FedEx team did a great job. We unloaded so fast and I was really happy with the car in race trim. I think we were one of the best if not the best car in race trim today. We got to qualifying a little late and we were just loose. We thought we had it fixed and it got really, really loose in qualifying. I had a couple big bobbles. The fact that we still ran a decent time I guess is okay, but obviously you always want to do the best that you can. The guys did a great job and the whole FedEx Toyota team did good and, again, I think we have a good race car so hopefully that will show up again tomorrow.” ELLIOTT SADLER, No. 81 ALERT Energy Gum, Joe Gibbs Racing | Starting Position: 24th How was your qualifying effort? “It was alright. I made a little mistake getting into turn three and couldn’t get to the bottom as quick as I wanted to, so left a little bit of time on the race track. But, being in this position you really can’t attack the corner 100 percent either. If I get loose or lose a car and we don’t make the race for Sunday that’s not good either. We actually — the car is driving pretty good. Out teammates found a lot of speed today in race trim. We’re going to lean on those guys for tomorrow, but very excited about the opportunity to be at Kansas this weekend with our ALERT Energy Gum and JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) giving me a good, good shot for this weekend and we think we’re going to have a good day on Sunday.”
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Kenseth, Gibbs on a roll early

Matt Kenseth, the eventual winner of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway, and Martin Truex Jr., who finished fourth, combined to basically dominate the race. The race reminded me of the racing we saw at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend as well, because there was a lot of great racing back in the field. It really was an up-and-down day for a number of reasons...

Opinion: Competition Should Be Scared Of Matt Kenseth’s Fast Start

Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 The Home Depot/Husky Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on April 21, 2013 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) By: Toby Christie – Follow On Twitter @Tobalical How bad of a day would Sunday at Kansas have been for Joe Gibbs Racing had they not added Matt...

Kenseth wins Sprint Cup race at Kansas

Watch out for Matt Kenseth. The past NASCAR Sprint Cup champion is off to a stellar start to the season. On Sunday at Kansas Speedway, Matt Kenseth was the driver to watch throughout the NASCAR Sprint Cup STP 400. He led the first 74 laps, lost the edge on a pit sequence, then moved back to the front late in the race. And then he never looked back. Kasey Kahne chased him, but Kenseth...

Matt Kenseth wins pole in Kansas

Matt Kenseth took the pole Sunday at one of his favorite places after setting a track qualifying record of 191.864 mph at Kansas Speedway. Kenseth won the fall race at Kansas last season, and hasn't finished outside the top 10 since having engine trouble in the 2009 race. He has finished in the top five at Kansas five times. Carl Edwards will start on the front row for the...

CUP: Sunday Kansas Notebook

Matt Kenseth on pole today for STP 400 at Kansas Speedway…

Kenseth wins from pole in Kansas

Matt Kenseth takes the checkered flag at Kansas.

Kenseth wins at Kansas

Matt Kenseth won his second race of 2013 with a win Sunday at Kansas. It was his second consecutive win at the track after winning the fall race last year.

Matt Kenseth Wins Pole at Kansas

Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images Matt Kenseth captured his first Coors Light Pole Award at Joe Gibbs Racing, but it took knocking off his former Roush-Fenway Racing teammate to do it. Kenseth’s lap of 191.864 mph, 28.145 seconds in Friday afternoon’s qualifying session set a new qualifying record at the 1.5-mile track. This is the first consecutive week that a new track record...

Kansas: Starting lineup, Green flag and streaming info for the STP 400

Matt Kenseth will lead a field of 43 cars to the green flag in Sundays race at Kansas Speedway for the STP 400. In winning the pole Kenseth set a new track record. Coverage of the race will begin on FOX at 12:30 pm EST while the green flag is set for 1:16 pm EST. The race will consist of 267 laps around the 1.5 mile track. Denny Hamlin won this event last year while Kenseth captured...

Winners and Losers from Sunday's STP 400 at Kansas Speedway (BleacherReport.com)

BY JERRY BONKOWSKI (FEATURED COLUMNIST) ON APRIL 21, 2013 Joe and J.D. Gibbs may be upset that three of their team's race cars were torn up in wrecks in Sunday's STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, but any frustration was quickly erased when Matt Kenseth crossed the finish line with his second win of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing. On the flip side, Kenseth's teammate, Kyle...

Will NASCAR Fords step up in Kansas?

Could this be the weekend that Ford finally steps up? In the first seven races of the season, the Sprint Cup Series has been a battle between Toyota and Chevy. Both manufacturers have enjoyed three trips to victory lane. Toyota Camrys have posted the top qualifying speed in five of the first eight events after Las Vegas time trials were rained out. With the exception of Carl Edwards...
NASCAR News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.