NASCAR is headed to a track this weekend that is described as having lots of character. Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky has a rough surface which throws off some drivers when maneuvering their cars around the 1.5 mile oval.
Matt Kenseth will be racing in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races this weekend. Kenseth said Tuesday afternoon that he’s not sure if tire wear will be a concern with the surface being so rough. He will figure that out when he does a tire test there in his Nationwide car this afternoon.
“I really don’t have any idea,” laughed Kenseth. “We do get to spend some time on the track in the Nationwide car with an open test day on Wednesday so we’ll probably have a better idea. Last year’s tires were good. I think they changed the left side tires for this year so I don’t know whether that’s going to be a factor or not.”
Kenseth has one concern going into this weekend’s Sprint Cup race.
“Probably qualifying. We haven’t qualified particularly well lately and I feel that really hurts us in the race. I feel like we start at a deficit and we don’t get the pit stall we want to get – we’re working on traffic a lot before we can start adjusting our car. I think we need to qualify better. That’s probably the first thing on my mind.”
While Kenseth is poised to make the Chase where he now stands in the points without a win, he wants that win to show he’s a viable contender in the post-season. With the “win and you’re in” approach to this year’s Chase, it’s becoming more important for drivers and race teams to perform well in the season to vie for the championship. Out of 16 spots, 10 drivers are in with a win and Kenseth is waiting to prove that’s he can solidify a spot in that elite list with a victory of his own.