Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth, coming off the strongest season of his career in spite of finishing second to 2013 Cup Series champ Jimmie Johnson, is ready to get racing underway at Daytona International Speedway in February.
“I really look forward to going to Daytona, running the Shootout or whatever it's called now on Sunday is always fun, or Saturday night,” said Kenseth during a press conference at Daytona’s Perseason Thunder last week. “But I really look forward to Thursday, getting in the duels and kind of getting ready for the 500, and then once you finally get to Thursday, you get to race, and race Saturday and race Sunday. I look forward to that a lot, getting the season started, and then I also really look forward to getting - once Speedweeks is over, I almost feel like the season starts.”
Kenseth, whose first year with JGR included seven wins, 20 top 10s and three poles in 36 races, was pleasantly surprised by his 2013 season, and hopes the team’s competitive nature continues in 2014.
“Man, I didn't have a lot of preconceived notions ahead of time about what things would really be like or not be like,” said Kenseth of his move from Roush-Fenway Racing. “Anything that was really a surprise at all was probably a pleasant surprise. Probably some of it that was a little bit of a surprise to me was how hard Denny (Hamlin) and Kyle (Busch), too, work, work at it, and in meetings and everything. Probably surprised me a little bit how much I had to talk at meetings and how much people listened to me for some reason.”
“But other than that, obviously I was somewhat pleasantly surprised by our success and by winning right away and doing all that stuff,” he continued. “But obviously it was all really good. I felt like I really learned a lot last year from December all the way until the season got over, and I'm honestly just as excited for this year as I was last year, so I feel like we've got a lot of good things going on over there, and I was really happy that Denny won at Homestead, as well, and I'm looking forward to - I'm glad he's healthy again and winning again. Although since we finished second, I would have rather had him finish second so I could have won. Anyway, I'm looking forward to all three teams really being competitive this year and one of the three hopefully being able to win a championship.”
Keep up with the off-season at joegibbsracing.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by NASCAR.
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