Austin Dillon and Matt Kenseth are both in the running to win championships in two different series and they will be racing in additional races this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Matt Kenseth is attempting to win his second NASCAR Sprint Cup championship but is trailing series leader Jimmie Johnson by 28 points. He will be racing for the championship in the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota for Joe Gibbs racing on Sunday, and will race the previous day in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) in the No. 18 GameStop/Cabela’s Toyota for same race team. Kenseth believes that running in both races will help prepare him for a championship run.
“I haven’t run a lot of races in the Nationwide Series over the last few years, so it’s been fun for me to get back into this series. I’m looking forward to running both races this weekend down at Homestead, because it’s nice to get that additional track time, especially at a place like Homestead where we only get to once a year. For Saturday’s race, we’ll run the same tire, and it will be the same overall track conditions as what we’ll race in on Sunday. Sometimes there are things that we can carry over to Sunday, and sometimes there aren’t, but it’s still fun to go out and compete. I don’t feel like it takes away from Sunday’s race at all, and I enjoy getting to go out there and mixing it up with the guys in this series.”
Kenseth’s Sprint Cup Crew Chief, Jason Ratcliff is confident rolling into Homestead.
“To have a shot at winning this Championship, we need to go out and lead as many laps as we can on Sunday and try to be a contender at the end of the race. We’d really like to get another win under our belt. If we can lead laps and win the race, that’s obviously all that we can possibly do, and then we’ll see where we stack up in the end. At this point, it’s really that simple for us, and mathematically we still do have a shot at this title. If we just look at our season as a whole, I can’t think of a better way to put an exclamation point on it than if we were to go into Homestead this weekend and win another race.”
Austin Dillon is leading the NNS points by eight points over Sam Hornish, Jr. and Dillon will be driving the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing on Saturday afternoon. On Friday night, he will be in the No. 6 Chevrolet for Sharp-Gallaher Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS).
Dillon was the champion in the truck series in 2010 and had a win this season for RCR at Eldora Speedway. He is looking forward to returning to the series for this race.
“I’m a racer so when Sharp-Gallaher Racing presented me with the opportunity to race the No. 6 Chevrolet at Homestead-Miami Speedway I jumped at it,” said Dillon. “I love the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and my record in the Series is pretty good this year (one-for-one with the Eldora win). Racing in the Trucks will help me determine exactly what my Nationwide Series car needs as I try to battle for the Nationwide Series Championship, and Richard Childress Racing has an alliance with SGR. They run ECR Engines in their trucks. They put solid, competitive trucks on the track each week and won the race last year. I think we can put them in Victory Lane there again.”
Dillon will be looking for his first NNS championship on Saturday.
“We’re bringing chassis No. 102 to Homestead-Miami Speedway, which is the same car we raced at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October. It’s a fast car and I am looking forward to Homestead because I’ve been successful there in the past. I am going into the race with the same mindset I’ve had all year; to try and stay focused and determined and to gain maximum points. If we can do that by winning the race that would be great, but if we don’t win a race this season, I will not look at this year as incomplete or unsuccessful by any means. Our goal is to win a championship and to head into the last race of the year with an opportunity to win a championship. If we can accomplish that it would be a huge honor. I can guarantee you that I am going into the last race trying my hardest and giving everything I have to accomplish our team’s goals, and that’s all you can ask for in a season.”
The green flag will fly for NCWTS race on Friday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. ET. The NNS race will begin at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 16 and the Sprint Cup Series race will be Sunday, Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. ET.