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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Autism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Autism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Autism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes

Matt Kenseth
May 16, 2010


THE MODERATOR: Jeff, thank you, and congratulations.
We're also joined by today's third place finisher, driver of the No. 17 Crown Royal Black Ford, Matt Kenseth. Tell us about your day.
MATT KENSETH: Yeah, it was a struggle. We had to work hard to get where we were at. We made really good adjustments in the pits, really good pit calls to get the track position we needed. So track position was really, really important today, and glad the race finished under green and we were able to get that long run in there and green flag pit stops and all of that stuff. It was fun to race that way and have a race end that way in my opinion.
Overall it was a great day for us, we just worked all day and got the best we could out of it then.

Q. Looked like you came through the field pretty good. Were you just biding your time or just the way things shook out as far as pit stops and track position and strategy?
MATT KENSETH: Yeah, more pit stops than strategy I'd say. We made our way to about -- I'm just guessing, but about 15th. I think there were 17 or 18 cars in the lead lap that one long run where we did a green flag pit stop and all that, we were back within a couple seconds of getting lapped. That pit stop we decided to take two, and everybody else in the whole field got four. That brought us out of the pits third or something like that, and that was really the main call that got us where we were.
We dropped back to sixth on seventh that run, but it took us out of jeopardy of being a lap down and gave us some track position to try to get something out of the day. So really that's what got us past almost all them cars.

Q. Do you feel Ford starting to close in a little bit on the competition? The teams are winless this year.
MATT KENSETH: That's a tough one to answer. I mean, this is a historically a really good track for us. Even when we're running bad at other places, we usually still run pretty respectably here. I think this is one of our best tracks. And I didn't think no matter what we did to the car today we had a shot to win. The 48 and 18 had us, and the 31 if he would have had track position in front of us was better all day, as well.
I feel like we still need that little something. I don't know what that is. I thought we got everything we possibly could out get out of our car and then some; we probably finished a little better than we deserved. And I don't know what it is, it just seems like we're still a little off the other big three organizations, and we're just that little bit behind. Competition is just so tough these days, you get just that little bit behind it's tough to break through and get that win. I feel like we're definitely better than we were last year, but I think we're still maybe a half a step or a step behind.

Q. It's been a few races since you went from the wing to the spoiler. Do you think it's helped you guys out a little bit? I notice like Jimmie Johnson when he had -- outside of today, since they switched to the spoiler, he hasn't had as good a races as he normally does. How do you feel that might have helped you guys?
MATT KENSETH: Not really. I mean, I don't think it's been a huge change to be honest with you. The Jimmie thing is probably more of a coincidence than anything. It looked like he was going to win today.
I don't know, I feel like we're running about the same. We started off the season I thought running pretty good; we ran in the top three at Vegas with the wing and finished second in Atlanta with it, and we ran okay. I don't know that it's really affected us one way or another that much yet.
THE MODERATOR: Matt, thank you, and congratulations.

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