Kenseth prepares for 300th


Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt/Nano Ford Fusion, will be making his 300th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend. Kenseth, who won the series championship in 2003, says he doesn’t pay much attention to milestones; his interest remains in winning races championships. Kenseth has enjoyed much success at Phoenix International Raceway over the years in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series; he has a victory and five top-five finishes in Cup and has a victory and eight top-10s in 10 Nationwide starts. Kenseth made his Sprint Cup debut in September 1998.

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 DeWalt/Nano Ford Fusion – IS 300 A PRETTY SIGNIFICANT NUMBER TO YOU? “I guess so. I’m proud that they’re all pretty much with the same car and the same sponsor and all that stuff, but it’s just a number, I guess. Mark [Martin] did 700 the other week. He said that just meant he was old, so I guess this means that I’m just middle-aged. It’s just a number.”

DO YOU THINK THAT SOME OF THESE MILESTONES WILL TAKE ON A DIFFERENT MEANING AFTER YOU RETIRE ? “Yeah, I think it might mean something then. Right now, to be real honest, I don’t really care how many races I’ve started, I more care about where we finish, winning races and trying to win championships. So, just starting races hasn’t ever really been my goal, except for maybe the first few, but other than that it hasn’t really been a goal. But, it’s been cool that we’ve been able to be here and be competitive that long.”

AS A COMPETITOR, ARE YOU AWARE OF YOUR STATISTICS IF NO ONE BRINGS THEM UP TO YOU? “No. I wasn’t too aware of it until the other day.”

YOU MADE YOUR FIRST CUP START 10 YEARS AGO. HAS YOUR APPROACH TO THE SPORT CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? “It changes over time. I mean, your goals change and maybe how you feel about it changes and all that stuff. But I think after we won a championship, I think our goal every year is to win a championship. You want to get into championship form, you want to be the best and you want to be able to win races, and you want to be able to do all that stuff, so, really, that goal has stayed the same for a few years, really.”