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February 14, 2016

Matt Kenseth

Daytona Beach, Florida

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by Matt Kenseth, who will be starting on the front row for the Daytona 500 next Sunday.
Matt, why don't you go ahead and talk a little bit about your qualifying runs out there.
MATT KENSETH: Yeah, I mean, obviously everybody says it, but qualifying here is truly a team effort. From the aero guys to everybody at TRD making the power, Jason and the group for massaging that thing, they did a great job.
It's funny the way this works. I was coasting around the apron, knew Chase was ahead of me, figured Junior was going to beat me, because he was faster the first round. Thinking maybe doing all that work and qualifying third, might as well be 20th. I was pleasantly surprised when he dropped in right behind us.
Never qualified in front row here before, so that certainly takes off some pressure for later in the week.
THE MODERATOR: We'll start with questions.

Q. Matt, does the fact that you're locked into the outside of the front row and you know when you're starting change your routine at all for the week?
MATT KENSETH: Well, I think it could, for sure. I don't think preparing for the Duels is really much different because we knew we had a guaranteed spot. You're not going to want to try to risk it in practice, though you still have that happen occasionally.
I don't think your preparation for Thursday will change. I guess Thursday is subject to change. I think if you can stay up there and lead it, you're going to want to go out and try to win it. But if something happens and you look like you're in a bad spot, might be smarter to get out of there, you might change your plan at that time, I guess. Something we haven't really talked about yet.

Q. After last night, do you see any repetition of that type of driving on Thursday evening?
MATT KENSETH: Well, you know, if you look at the last few years, last night's case wasn't totally unusual. Typically ‑ doesn't mean it will ‑ but typically as the week goes on, it gets a little bit not necessarily more calm.
But I don't know, sometimes I think a lot of Saturday night's thing is it's the first race, nobody's been in a car in a couple months, superspeedway race, you're kind of getting going.
So I hope not. The only one who hates wrecking more than me is Coach because he has to pay for it. I hate having all those cars tore up, for sure. So I hope it's better than that.
But it still was productive. We have to run some setup stuff we wanted to try for the 500. I felt like all of our Toyotas had really good speed. Denny was able to win the race.
Even though the end result wasn't good, there were still a lot of positives out of the night. I felt like we learned a lot.
THE MODERATOR: Matt, thank you. Congratulations and good luck next weekend.
MATT KENSETH: All right.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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