Matt Kenseth heads to Talladega Superspeedway in search of a win to lock him into the Round of 8.
The Round of 12 in the NASCAR playoffs started with the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Martin Truex Jr. scored his sixth win of the season and added to his playoff points total for the Round of 8. Matt Kenseth now looks to Talladega Superspeedway to keep his playoff hopes alive.
Matt Kenseth enters the second race of the Round of 12 sitting ninth in the point standings, after finishing 11th at Charlotte.
Kenseth is just a mere one point behind the cutoff line. But if history is any indication, Talladega can change a lot.
“Speedway racing is just a lot of unknowns since things can happen so quickly, and you also never know if or when “the big one” is going to happen,” said Kenseth in his pre-race advance from his website. “You just need to go out and race as hard as you can, try to position yourself as far towards the front as possible, and hopefully even be leading where if there is a wreck, that it happens behind you.”
Kenseth has just one win at Talladega in 35 starts, one top-five, six top-tens and ten poles. Starting up front hasn’t been the problem for Kenseth, it’s been finishing inside the top-five.
“The draft at Talladega is always changing and it depends on where the other cars are, what lane they’re in, what cars your car works well with, and where the momentum is,” said Kenseth. “It’s all about learning to adapt to that changing draft in order to have your car in the right place at the right time. Talladega is such a wild card of a race weekend. Some cars run better than others there, and certainly when you have fast cars, it’s easier to make things happen.”
Some of the cars who have run better than others is Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who won the race at Talladega earlier this year and the last restrictor plate race at Daytona.
Kenseth hopes to have a car as strong as Stenhouse has had in the last two restrictor plate races.
“When you have an average car, it’s much easier to be stuck in the mess and possibly in a crash, so Talladega is probably the biggest wild card of the Playoffs.”
Follow Matt on Twitter, @mattlovisa.