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November 9, 2014

Matt Kenseth


KERRY THARP:テつ We're going to roll right into our post‑race for today's 27th‑annual Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, the third and final race in the Eliminator Round for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup here in 2014 at Phoenix International Raceway, and our third‑place finisher in today's race, Matt Kenseth.テつ He drives the No.20 Dollar General Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.テつ Matt finished third in today's race, two points shy of being able to advance to the championship round.テつ What a gallant effort by you and the No.20 team.テつ Take us through your afternoon and your thoughts.
MATT KENSETH:テつ Yeah, it was good.テつ We qualified well on Friday as a group.テつ I think we were first, fifth and sixth or something like that, so that was really good.テつ That was a good start to the weekend.テつ Had the car driving pretty good yesterday.テつ We were no match for the 4.テつ He's been lights out here the last couple years or the last few years, whatever.テつ But other than that, we were pretty good, so we had a good short‑run speed, good restarts.テつ I thought we did everything right, good strategy, good pit tops, all that stuff.テつ Best we've ran here in a while.テつ So overall, it was a great day for us.テつ It wasn't good enough to get us to the next round, but after last week, I knew that that was going to be tough.テつ We were probably going to have to come here and win, and we just didn't have enough speed to do that.

Q.テつ As a guy who's raced for the championship for several seasons, how did this race compare on the track?テつ Watching it and being in it are probably two different things, but what sense did you get with this format that this may have been somewhat different than previous races?
MATT KENSETH:テつ Well, you know, I honestly don't re‑watch a lot of it, at least after the races anyway unless there's something I can learn from it.テつ So I don't probably really have the fan's perspective, but from the driver's seat and how we ran this year and the way things have went, it totally has had a different feel for me.テつ Last year I felt like going into the Chase ‑‑ it's hard to say Jimmie is not the favorite because he's won so many ‑‑ but I felt like if he wasn't, we were.テつ We had the most wins, won the first two races off the bat, and man, it was a stressful 10 weeks.テつ I thought we ran excellent.テつ We had one bad race and lost a championship.
Here it's just had a different feel.テつ We ran mediocre at Chicago, wrecked out at Loudon, ran good at Dover and made it to the next round.テつ I can't remember all those races, but we had one bad race, I think, and still made it to the next round.テつ Then of course Martinsville wasn't great and Texas was really, really bad.
It's felt different to me.テつ From my side of it, I feel like we haven't necessarily performed at a championship level.テつ I think my team has in the pit stops and the strategy and the car prep and the morale, all that has been there, but we haven't had the speed in our race cars.テつ To still be in it all the way to the second‑to‑last race was a good feeling to keep getting another shot.テつ I wish we had one more.
KERRY THARP:テつ Matt, thank you for coming in.テつ Very, very good season.テつ We'll see you at Homestead.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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