The Backstretch Blog: Fast Times at Kansas Speedway

The one word I heard over and over this weekend at the Kansas Speedway is fast. I know you are saying why is that odd...I mean this is NASCAR not golf...it should be fast. But drivers believe the combination of cooler temperatures new pavement and new car has made the Kansas Speedway really fast. The number of track records that fell over the weekend back me up on this one.

Which brings us to Matt Kenseth. Until last fall, he would never be a name that you thought of when you thought Kansas Speedway, but after pretty much owning the track since the repave, how can you think of anyone else?

"Last fall we had a good race fast car," said Kenseth. "And this week we had just an unbelievably fast car as well, so we were able to sit on the pole, lead a bunch at the beginning and then lead a bunch when we needed to. It's just having a fast car and a good race team."

Kenseth already has a Cup Championship, back in 2003, and is tied for forth among active drivers for wins, but his quick success since making the move to Joe Gibbs Racing should and does have others taking notice.

"Matt's good and he always has been," said Jimmie Johnson, who finished 3rd at Kansas and remains the points lead. "He's an awesome race car driver and he impresses me in his ability to lead the team and make adjustments on the car and his knowledge of the car."

Matt's boss, team owner Joe Gibbs would agree.

"I think he's a real leader," said Gibbs. "And I think (his teammates) Denny (Hamlin) and Kyle (Busch) think a lot of him. I think he adds to the leadership here on our race team, and I think he's a special driver."

One that could develop a special relationship with Kansas. But he insists it's not all him.

"I wish I could take more credit for it, but is really fast race cars. These guys just do an incredible job of giving me fast cars."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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