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Kenseth: The Best Way Forward Is To Go Backward

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, August 22 2014

Matt Kenseth said good things happened at the recent aero test. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Christa L Thomas)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Matt Kenseth described the NASCAR aerodynamic-engine package test earlier this week at Michigan as really interesting, but said Friday he believed the best configuration was when all of the downforce was removed and the cars were given full power.

“It was like going back 15 years in time or something like that,” Kenseth said during a press conference at Bristol Motor Speedway. “You could actually pass in the corners instead of worrying about drafting in the straightaway. You could get one guy on the bottom and one guy on the top. The air wasn’t so turbulent that you couldn’t get outside of people so the track got really wide. It was like the track aged 10 years and it was awesome.

“Everybody got out with a smile on their face. You actually wouldn’t feel as guilty cashing your paycheck on Friday anymore because you actually had to drive the cars like you used to.”

Kenseth said he believed that particular configuration NASCAR used in exploring various ideas for the 2015 rules package would result in some single car spins and “some people stepping over the line.”

“I don’t know what NASCAR will do with it, but it sure was a lot of fun to drive and re-watching some of it and looking at data and doing all that, it seemed like the racing was better, too,” Kenseth said. “If your car was handling a little bit better, you could actually make the pass instead of getting stuck there in dirty air.”

Ten teams participated in the test that evaluated six different configurations.

When A.J. Allmendinger began the 2014 season the JTG Daugherty Racing driver said it wasn’t about making the Chase, it was about getting better; however, now that they have a shot at the title, they don’t want to be content with just the opportunity.

“We want to go in there and make some noise,” Allmendinger said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Allmendinger acquired not only his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory, but also the inaugural one for JTG Daugherty earlier this month at Watkins Glen. It was an achievement Allmendinger had as his No. 1 priority when the season began.

“The Chase is a bonus really,” Allmendinger said. “I just wanted to achieve my dream, what I have worked hard for the last seven or eight years, and win a Sprint Cup race. For Tad and Jodi (Geschickter), especially for what they started in a barn 20 years ago, to get to this point now and have them as Sprint Cup team owner winners, that is what is most satisfying for me.

“I never looked at we HAVE to win to make the Chase. I just wanted to keep getting better.”

Allmendinger said it appeared his team members were more relaxed and possessed “a lot more confidence” since the Watkins Glen victory.

“We put our heart and soul into it,” Allmendinger said about the team. “We are a small race team so we have to put that extra effort in. For me, that is a special feeling now to walk in those doors and feel like I truly brought something to this team.”

Roush Fenway Racing and Greg Biffle announced Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway that Ortho would be Biffle’s primary sponsor for roughly half of the 2015 season. Starting at Atlanta next weekend, Ortho will appear on Biffle’s car in selected events this year.

Ortho replaces 3M, which is moving to Hendrick Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for 2015.

Ortho’s parent company, Scotts Miracle-Gro, teamed with Roush Fenway from 2005 until 2011.

In Bristol’s Saturday night race, Biffle’s Ford will sport a paint scheme touting the 3M Hire Our Heroes program.

– Deb Williams can be reached at dwilliams@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, August 22 2014
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