Matt Kenseth has run consistently strong virtually each week, he has had none of the engine issues that plagued him early last season and he’s second in the Sprint Cup Series standings after eight races.
Yet something is missing – wins.
Perhaps that wouldn’t be so glaring if it not for the fact Kenseth was the series’ most prolific visitor to Victory Lane in 2013 with seven victories.
Kenseth has been good during his second season with Joe Gibbs Racing, just not good enough. His best finish is a pair of fourths – at Fontana, Calif., and last weekend at Darlington, S.C. Yet he has not finished worse than 13th.
At this point a year ago, Kenseth and his No. 20 Toyota team had a pair of victories.
“It’s been interesting because there’s been a lot of different winners and been some guys that have won a lot that haven’t won yet,” said Kenseth, who easily could have been speaking of himself.
Kenseth talked recently about this season’s new Chase format, how much he pays attention to the series standings and assessed his tenure at JGR.
“It just rewards the winners differently. Obviously, it gives them a better chance of being qualified to be in the Chase towards the end of the year. I think there’s more significance to the win than maybe what there was at some of the races last year.”
“You just don’t really know how it’s going to turn out. Is there going to be 10 winners? Is there going to be 20 winners? I don’t know. History suggests that there’s going to be a few guys added by points that didn’t win. Certainly if that’s the case and you haven’t won yet, then the point standings are very important.”
“I’m still comfortable, we’re still having fun – we want to be better and we set that bar so high last year that I think we expect that from ourselves all the time. We’re still trying to get a little bit better to get back up and be leading more laps and put ourselves in position to win more races and hopefully get a win here pretty soon.”