Skip to content

Everyone worried about a Kenseth win — except Matt himself

Jul 25, 2014, 2:58 PM EST

kenseth indy AP

INDIANAPOLIS — Everyone seems to be concerned Matt Kenseth hasn’t won a race thus far in 2014 – everyone, that is, except Kenseth himself.

Sure, he led the Sprint Cup Series with seven wins last season, but Kenseth has yet to reach victory lane in the first 19 races of this season.

But given where he’s at in the Sprint Cup points (fourth), Kenseth is pretty much a lock to make the expanded 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup field when it’s finalized seven races from now after the Richmond event.

If you go by the alternative pre-Chase rankings that are based solely on wins, Kenseth is 12th, the highest-ranked driver without any wins. With seven races left to qualify for the Chase, it’s unlikely we’ll see seven more drivers earn their first win of 2014, leaving Kenseth fairly safe to make the Chase.

But at the same time, Kenseth isn’t going to rely on possibilities and hypotheticals. He’s hoping to kill two birds with one stone on Sunday: win his first race of 2014 and his first win in the Brickyard 400.

“Well, all of the above, I guess,” Kenseth said during a press conference after being fastest in the only practice session held on Friday.

Kenseth has a decent record at Indy: In 14 career starts, while he hasn’t won yet, he does have six top-five and two other top-10 finishes. His best finish to date has been second (in both 2003 and 2006).

Kenseth also is coming off a strong fifth-place run at Indy in last year’s Brickyard.

“I’ve always felt like (Indy) has been one of our race tracks, but you really don’t know until you get there and you get into the race, even through practice,” Kenseth said. “Even last year, we had an incredible year and we ran so good at so many places I’ve never ran good at before, but then we went to Indy and we finished well, but we really didn’t run well last year compared to how we ran everywhere else.

“… Obviously expectations are high and when you’re sitting here almost in August and don’t have a win yet, you always get asked about that, especially with this new system and all that. The year really hasn’t been a bad year, we’ve had a bad month there where I wrecked it two or three times and had some other things happen, but we just have been as an organization lacking a little bit of speed. I feel like we’re gaining on that and feel like we’re getting closer.

“Overall, I feel like from a team perspective and execution and all that stuff, we’re probably better than what it was last year. As soon as we get the speed to go with it and have some things to go our way, it’s possible to get on a roll.”

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Latest Posts
  1. Nissan’s WEC prototype revealed in awesome Super Bowl XLIX ad (VIDEO)

    Feb 1, 2015, 8:03 PM EST

    Credit: Nissan NISMO Credit: Nissan NISMO

    Say hello to the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO prototype – and one very well-made Super Bowl ad.

  2. Dale Jr., Austin Dillon, Xfinity champ Chase Elliott pick Patriots in Super Bowl

    Feb 1, 2015, 5:45 PM EST

    Tom Brady AP

    Dale Jr. tweets: “I’m gonna go Pats just cause Deflategate was damn ridiculous.”

  3. Team Penske IndyCar drivers attending Super Bowl, meet NFL star J.J. Watt (PHOTO)

    Feb 1, 2015, 4:32 PM EST

    Shell Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Getty Images

    IndyCar champ Will Power and teammates Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Simon Pagenaud are guests of Verizon for tonight’s Big Game.

  4. Moto GP: Marquez presents new bike for 2015 season

    Feb 1, 2015, 4:00 PM EST

    MOTO-ESP-PRIX-VALENCIA Getty Images

    Spanish sensation goes in search of a third straight Moto GP title in 2015.

  5. Verstappen: Racing fathers won’t affect Toro Rosso drivers

    Feb 1, 2015, 3:00 PM EST

    Verstappen 12 Getty Images

    Will Max and Carlos Jr. follow in the footsteps of Jos Verstappen and Carlos Sainz?

  6. Dale Jr.’s 21 races with Nationwide primary sponsorship revealed

    Feb 1, 2015, 2:30 PM EST

    Federated Auto Parts 400 - Practice Getty Images

    Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 21-race lineup with Nationwide Insurance as primary sponsor has been announced.

  7. Remembering new NFL Hall of Famer Junior Seau’s time on an IndyCar pit crew (VIDEO)

    Feb 1, 2015, 2:15 PM EST

    Credit: NBC Sports/Mandt Bros. Productions Credit: NBC Sports/Mandt Bros. Productions

    The late NFL legend helped Target Chip Ganassi Racing during the 2009 IndyCar weekend at Sonoma as part of his “Sports Jobs with Junior Seau” TV show.

  8. Rosberg delighted by trouble-free day for Mercedes

    Feb 1, 2015, 2:00 PM EST

    Nico Rosberg AP

    German driver completes a mammoth 157 laps on day one in Jerez, suggesting Mercedes’ bid to improve its reliability for 2015 has been a successful one.

  9. Ryan Dungey gets first Supercross win of season at Anaheim III

    Feb 1, 2015, 1:45 PM EST

    ryan_dungey_supercross_2015_anaheim3 Getty Images

    Ryan Dungey and Cooper Webb both won in Anaheim to retain the points lead in their respective classes.

  10. IndyCar: Ganassi set for engineering shuffle

    Feb 1, 2015, 1:30 PM EST

    Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - Day 1 Getty Images

    Engineering changes set for CGR’s IndyCar program in 2015.

  11. NASCAR: Kevin “Bono” Manion named crew chief for Alex Bowman, No. 7 team

    Feb 1, 2015, 1:15 PM EST

    Credit: Pilot/Flying J Racing (@PFJRacing) Credit: Pilot/Flying J Racing (@PFJRacing)

    Manion has won the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, and two Xfinity Series championships as a crew chief during his career.

  12. Ricciardo feels a step forward with new Red Bull car

    Feb 1, 2015, 1:00 PM EST

    F1 Testing In Jerez - Day One Getty Images

    Australian driver enjoys a solid first day of testing in Jerez, completing more laps than the team managed in four days at last year’s opening test.

  13. First significant running of Lotus E23 delayed until Tuesday

    Feb 1, 2015, 12:30 PM EST

    © Lotus F1 Team © Lotus F1 Team

    New car only arrived in Spain on Sunday evening after being fired up in the factory on Saturday.

  14. Dennis: McLaren set for livery change during 2015

    Feb 1, 2015, 12:00 PM EST

    Fernando Alonso AP

    McLaren CEO confirms that there will be a change in design at some point this year, but refuses to say when.

  15. Vettel fastest for Ferrari on day one of Jerez test

    Feb 1, 2015, 11:05 AM EST

    F1 Testing In Jerez - Day One Getty Images

    German driver makes a good start to life with Ferrari, but it is Mercedes who puts in the performance of the day with an incredible 157 laps completed.

  16. Heartache of 2014 defeat motivates Rosberg for new season

    Feb 1, 2015, 10:45 AM EST

    F1 Testing In Jerez - Day One Getty Images

    German driver wants to avoid a repeat of his last race defeat to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in 2014.

  17. Momentum and expectations high at Williams for 2015

    Feb 1, 2015, 10:00 AM EST

    Bottas Massa 12 Getty Images

    After storming to third place in the constructors’ championship in 2014, Williams must now consolidate its rise and push for race wins.

  18. Horner praises “exciting and dynamic” Red Bull line-up

    Feb 1, 2015, 9:00 AM EST

    Red Bull - Meet The 2015 Drivers Getty Images

    As the post-Vettel era begins at Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat prepare to step up to the plate.

  19. Mercedes leaving no stone unturned in bid for a second world title

    Feb 1, 2015, 8:00 AM EST

    Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg AP

    Technical chief Paddy Lowe working on improved reliability in 2015 after some issues last season.

More from NASCAR America

Elliott: 'Common bond' unites inductees
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. C. Elliott (1927)
  2. R. Blaney (1383)
  3. C. Custer (1367)
  4. C. Eggleston (1357)
  5. J. Gordon (1329)
  1. R. Chastain (1315)
  2. N. Drake (1287)
  3. B. McReynolds (1234)
  4. A. Almirola (1106)
  5. K. Larson (1049)