Kenseth Plays The Perfect Teammate

Matt Kenseth

Matt Kenseth was just fine with playing pusher Saturday night at Daytona. (Photo: Getty Images)

Matt Kenseth was perfectly fine pushing his Roush Fenway Racing teammate David Ragan to Victory Lane in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Kenseth tucked in behind Ragan in the closing laps and was able to help the duo draft their way to the front of the field, which led to the No. 6 RFR driver scoring his first career Sprint Cup Series victory.

“The plan was to work as a team all night,” Kenseth said. “It just so happened he was in front. Both of us were kind of unselfish all night, worked together really good, I thought.

“I was leading with three to four to go, and those were the circumstances. [That] restart got him back in front, and I was fine with that too. We made a plan and we stuck to it. It worked well.”

Kenseth, who has two wins this season, had a fast car all night long. The former series champion said the communication between the two teammates was key in helping both come home in the 1-2 finish.

“I feel like one of the luckiest guys here,” Kenseth said. “I guess the second luckiest guy here. I made it through the race unscathed, made a plan with David, and we both did what it took to work, not necessarily for ourselves, but realizing that the two cars were like one car and we had to treat it like that.”

While it turned out that Kenseth was the one pushing Ragan to the historic win, both drivers agreed it was circumstances that dictated the outcome.

As the race went into a pair of green-white-checkered finishes, the two car drafting tandem and the need to remain hooked up tightly was what determined who was where on the race track.

“If I wouldn't have had a car outside of me, that would have been my chance to move outside and [Kevin Harvick] would have pushed me and I maybe could have made a run to the finish there,” Kenseth said.

“But I think that was coming to the white, and really I think Joey [Logano] was too close. I couldn't have made a move on David, one car on one car I don't think without Joey splitting us and winning the race.”

At the end of the day Ragan thanked Kenseth for the assist and putting him into Matt Kenseth was perfectly fine pushing his Roush Fenway Racing teammate David Ragan to victory lane in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Kenseth tucked in behind Ragan in the closing laps and was able to help the duo draft their way to the front of the field, which led to the No. 6 RFR driver scoring his first career Sprint Cup Series victory.

“The plan was to work as a team all night,” Kenseth said. “It just so happened he was in front. Both of us were kind of unselfish all night, worked together really good, I thought.

“I was leading with three to four to go, and those were the circumstances. [That] restart got him back in front, and I was fine with that too. We made a plan and we stuck to it. It worked well.”

Kenseth, who has two wins this season, had a fast car all night long. The former series champion said the communication between the two teammates was key in helping both come home in the 1-2 finish.

“I feel like one of the luckiest guys here,” Kenseth said. “I guess the second luckiest guy here. I made it through the race unscathed, made a plan with David, and we both did what it took to work, not necessarily for ourselves, but realizing that the two cars were like one car and we had to treat it like that.”

While it turned out that Kenseth was the one pushing Ragan to the historic win, both drivers agreed it was circumstances that dictated the outcome.

As the race went into a pair of green-white-checkered finishes, the two car drafting tandem and the need to remain hooked up tightly was what determined who was where on the race track.

“If I wouldn't have had a car outside of me, that would have been my chance to move outside and [Kevin Harvick] would have pushed me and I maybe could have made a run to the finish there,” Kenseth said.

“But I think that was coming to the white, and really I think Joey [Logano] was too close. I couldn't have made a move on David, one car on one car I don't think without Joey splitting us and winning the race.”

At the end of the day Ragan thanked Kenseth for the assist and putting him into Victory Lane.

“It's not like Matt to push and push and push and run second,” Ragan said. “But I think this is the first speedway race that Matt's finished this year. So he did tell me before the race he wanted a first finish. So I'm glad he was able to come across the line in second.

“That's cool for Ford to sweep the front finishing order here at Daytona here in July and in February, and really says a lot for our team. It shows the team work does win these races, and we proved it tonight."

“It's not like Matt to push and push and push and run second,” Ragan said. “But I think this is the first speedway race that Matt's finished this year. So he did tell me before the race he wanted a first finish. So I'm glad he was able to come across the line in second.

“That's cool for Ford to sweep the front finishing order here at Daytona here in July and in February, and really says a lot for our team. It shows the team work does win these races, and we proved it tonight. “

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