Matt Kenseth won two races on restrictor plate tracks last season winning the season opening Daytona 500 and the fall race at Talladega. On Sunday the Sprint Cup cars return to the 2.66 mile superspeedway for the Aarons 499.
Even with his success at Daytona and Talladega, Kenseth was quick to point out that the target is always moving but credited the rule changes of 2012 for some of his success.
“I think when they changed the rules package to start 2012, with the lower spoiler and got rid of the tandem drafting and all that kind of stuff, that really seemed to help me. I didn’t feel like I was really that great at that tandem drafting and wasn’t really necessarily in your comfort zone or something you felt like you were really good at. There was just a lot going on there and it wasn’t necessarily my favorite kind of racing.” said Kenseth in a Tuesday teleconference.
In four restrictor plate races last season Kenseth had two wins and an average finish of 2.0, numbers that are vastly different then those from the previous season. In 2011 Kenseth finished better then 18th in just one of the four superspeedway events.
“So when they changed the rules, it seemed to be good for our cars and it kind of seemed to be good for maybe my style. You had a little more control over your own destiny than having to depend on somebody the whole race and having them depend on you.”
Another fortune that Kenseth had last season was an absence of problems.
“We didn’t have a lot of problems in the four races last year. Didn’t get caught up any accident or brake parts or have flat tires or any of that kind of stuff. So that’s always important at the super speedways to not get in trouble, because there’s so many people that get crashed out and it’s so easy to get yourself knocked out of one of those races.”
Earlier this year Kenseth led a race high 86 laps at Daytona but engine troubles forced him out of the race on lap 149 resulting in a 37th place finish.