This been a memorable Chase for Matt Kenseth, the newest driver for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and for Hendrick Motorsports driver, Jimmie Johnson.
Kenseth won a Championship in 2003 after dominating that year and it’s been an interesting back-and-forth battle in the Chase with Johnson. Only seven points separate Kenseth and Johnson as they go to Phoenix International Raceway this Sunday, Nov. 10.
Kenseth is hoping for another top 10 finish this weekend. He ended in the seventh position at Phoenix in March.
“Phoenix was my first down force race with this group and I thought we ran really well earlier this season,” stated Kenseth. “We just had a few problems during the race, we got back in the pack, and we just weren’t able to get back up front in the end. I’m really looking forward to getting back to Phoenix, especially after our success and Loudon and Martinsville this season, and I think that hopefully it will be a good track for us. The short flat tracks have been good to us this year and I’m hoping that they continue to be as we look ahead to this weekend.”
In a teleconference held earlier this week, Johnson said he’s got his mind set to win this race.
“Well, there’s still a lot of racing left, and the two tracks that remain on the schedule are very challenging tracks. Last year we were in this situation with a points lead. …I’m just not going to put my guard down. We need to go into Phoenix, race well. We finished second there in the spring, so we strong about our setup and the performance we should have there, but that doesn’t guarantee us anything, and we need to go out and have a good strong, clean weekend.”
Can Kenseth catch Johnson to claim his second championship or will Johnson get his elusive six-pack of Sprint Cup trophies?
The fans will be watching with anticipation until the checkered flag flies and a champion is crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway is Sunday, Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. ET.