Kenseth Now a Pocono Fan

Matt Kenseth

Matt Kenseth looks forward to tackling the “new” Pocono on Sunday. (Photo: Getty Images)

Matt Kenseth looks to bounce back from last weekend’s Indianapolis issues in Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway.

Kenseth was swept up in an accident with Joey Logano that also included Trevor Bayne and Bobby Labonte before it was over. The damage to Kenseth’s Roush Fenway Racing Ford was so severe, his day was over and he left the Brickyard with a 35th-place finish.

“Yeah, it is frustrating,” said Kenseth, who dropped out of the Sprint Cup Series championship lead and trails new top man Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 14 points coming to Pocono. “I got hung out on the restart which is one thing. I was trying to get through there and the 14 (Tony Stewart) wiped the whole side off my car in the straightaway for no reason and that kind of made me mad.

“I was in front of the 9 (Marcos Ambrose) and saw he had a run so I went down to block and he went across the grass and shot me up out of the groove there. It was crazy there at the end. You could see the wreck happening and I was just hoping I wasn’t going to be in it.”

He now sets his sights on another flat 2.5-mile track at Pocono, which hosts its second Sprint Cup race on the new asphalt surface that received raved reviews during the June race weekend.

“The track surface at Pocono was way better in June with the new surface,” Kenseth said. “I thought they did a great job paving it because one of the big challenges about Pocono used to be how bumpy it was. Usually everyone is against new pavement, including myself, because you think it hurts the racing, but I thought it was better overall.”

Kenseth had a top-10 run in June but hasn’t fared particularly well in Pocono over the years where he has an average finish of 13.9. But that past performance doesn’t matter to Kenseth who looks forward to tackling the “new” Pocono again on Sunday.

“I never did well there in the past, and honestly never really liked the track there before, but I feel like we ran competitive during our race there in June,” he said. “I don’t remember everything that happened during the race, or what we did to finish seventh, but I am looking forward to going back and trying to improve on that finish this weekend.”

Kenseth’s veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig is also a fan of the improved Pocono but would like to see the No. 17 team improve on the effort in the June race.

“Our last race at Pocono in June was on the new pavement and we weren’t sure what to expect heading into the weekend, but we ended up having a pretty good run that day,” Fennig said. “It’s a different set of challenges at Pocono now since it’s not as bumpy as it was, and drivers aren’t using as much brake.

“It’s still a track with three very different corners, but the bumps used to be the fourth challenge for us when it came to handling. I’m looking forward to heading back this weekend since we were able to lead some laps back in June, I’d like to lead more of them this weekend.”

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, Matt Kenseth

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