Matt Kenseth isn't thinking about the Chase. Given the chatter about qualifying for NASCAR's playoffs, that may put him in the minority, but he said Friday that even if he wins a race, he's not going to immediately start thinking about the final 10 races of the year.
“Man, we’re talking about the Chase already," Kenseth said. "It’s the first week in March. I have put almost zero thought into the Chase. It’s so early in the season I’ve really been focused on the new procedures for qualifying. The no new ride height rule -- try to get a feel for that. Try to get a feel for changes -- the new aero rules. Honestly, at this point in the year I could care less about the Chase. I would really like to win a race so you feel like you’re qualified and then I think we got six months of racing to do before we got to worry about that. I think it’s probably a little bit early. For me, I haven’t thought about it. Maybe other people have, I just haven’t.”
We can assure Matt that other people have and simply refer to the post-race interviews with Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. after they won the first two races of the season to prove our point. Those references, along with the quotes of other drivers, have spurred a debate about the importance of winning under NASCAR's new points system. In case you were wondering about where we stood in that discussion, we're firmly in the camp of "Important, but not imperative."
And apparently Kenseth hasn't even thought about it. We feel he has the right idea too. Given the length of NASCAR's season, things have plenty of time to evolve. What we'll know on March 30 at Martinsville will be a distant memory or possibly proven to be incorrect when the Cup Series heads to Martinsville during the Chase.
Kenseth is the defending champion of Sunday's Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Last year, he beat Kasey Kahne to the finish line for the first of three wins he had over Kahne in 2013.
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