Season Review: Matt Kenseth

Matt Kenseth did his best to grab some of the spotlight during the end of the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup.

With Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon battling for the title, Kenseth put on a great showing in the final races of the playoffs challenging for wins and a chance to move up in the standings.

Kenseth ended the run with five straight top five finishes including his second victory of the year in the season-ending Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, good enough to wrap-up the fourth spot in the final standings.

The 2003 champion was definitely one of the stronger drivers as the season wound down and challenged for several victories as Johnson was trying to lock up his second straight title.

"We've lost a lot of close ones," Kenseth said of some of his near-misses in 2007. "We had a good car and Jimmie snuck up there and beat us at Texas," he hesitated, "and Phoenix," another hesitation, "and Atlanta. Anyway, you get the picture."

"There have been some times when we've won some close ones through the years, too. But we lost a lot of close ones this year and, when that happens on the track, me as a driver feels bad. I feel like I let those guys down. So this definitely feels good," he said after his Homestead win.

Kenseth's 13 top fives and 22 top tens was another display of the kind of consistency the Wisconsin native has shown since becoming a full-time Cup driver in 2000.

The 2007 season was Kenseth's last with long-time crew chief Robbie Reiser calling the shots, who will move up to the General Manager's role at Roush Fenway Racing next season.

"I’m gonna miss working with him on Sundays, but he’s not going far," Kenseth said. "He’s going to manage the shop and I really think that his presence is really gonna be a big plus for everybody at Roush Fenway Racing. I think it’ll make everybody stronger. I’m gonna miss him doing it, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to making the company stronger.”

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2007

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