The driver of the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion finished second behind teammate David Regan at Daytona in July. Kenseth hopes they can have the same kind of success at Talladega.
“We are just making the same plan as we had in Daytona,” Kenseth said. “David (Ragan) and I worked well together and it worked out really good. He won the race and we helped him get there. We can’t probably expect those kinds of results again, but it seems like we are on the same page. When you pick a partner for this two-car thing it is nice having it work together for a whole race. You almost have to be on the same page and have the same kind of ideas and some what the same style and thoughts as to what position you want to get yourself in or not get yourself in.”
Kenseth comes into Talladega with momentum as he won last week’s race at Charlotte to move into third place and with in seven points of points leader Kevin Harvick.
After last week’s tragedy in Las Vegas, Kenseth said he feels safe even at a track like Talladega with the safety that NASCAR has provided in their cars.
“As far as the danger getting into the car, I think comparing what happened there and what we do is kind of (like) apples and oranges,” Kenseth said. “It is still auto racing, but there is certainly a whole lot of difference. Also there is that danger aspect that is always out there and that isn’t something you really think about. When you get in the car you go race. If it was something that I did think about then I would find something else to do.”
With the NASCAR rule changes are trying to get drivers away from two-car tandems and back into packs of cars. Kenseth said he doesn’t really know which style of racing will be safest.
“I think there are probably pros and cons to each of them,” Kenseth said. “I think since the restrictor plate races have started there have been the same argument and pros and cons no matter how much they do. The bottom line is the two tracks we have are too big. You can’t run an open race or style of race like Michigan or something like that. The two car thing, I think there are still wrecks and when there are wrecks they are smaller ones. It is usually one guy spinning out someone out. Is that safer than 20 cars wrecking? I don’t know. When you go to a big pack at least you have a little bit of control over your own destiny where you can go and where you can guide your car. In the two-car pack the pusher can’t see anything, so he is trusting the guy in the front of him through the right spot. If you are the front guy being shoved into the wreck, pushing as hard as you can without the guy being able to see us probably not the safest situation either. We have to just see what they bend up bringing for rules. I don’t foresee this race being much different than the last one.”
Over the past few races at Talladega, drivers have used the strategy of hanging in the back and working their way to the front at the end. Kenseth said he would rather stay in front of the pack all day.
“What happened last time at Daytona was that everybody had that idea and they were fighting so hard to get in the back that we just went into the front. There were only like four or five groups that wanted to be in the front. Really you look at it and you don’t want to wreck. It is 500 miles and the way the last race went, you could get in the front in 20 miles so you don’t want to wreck that first 480 miles. You are just waiting and whenever it is the busiest you try not to be really be. If I had my choice I would try to run in the front the whole time.”
Kenseth will try to earn a spot in the front today in the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying race.
Contact LaVonte Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.