Friday, May 16, 2014

KENSETH LOOKING TO RETURN TO ALL-STAR CHAMPIONSHIP FORM -- Matt Kenseth has claimed the All-Star title once before and is looking for another win this weekend. With 13 career NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race starts and starting the race from the pole twice, Kenseth is looking at this race like any other.

"You set up your car a little differently and you race a little differently than a four or five hour race like next week, but other than that I don't really change my approach that much. I mean you go out and run hard and yeah, if you can get a win at this race you maybe feel a little bit better about yourself for the rest of the season but it's still just one night."

Kenseth will be looking to repeat his win in 2004 in the 90-lap All-Star Race, which will be run in five segments with the first four lasting 20 laps each and the final segment lasting for 10 laps. Kenseth won his first points win at Charlotte Motor Speedway during his rookie season in 2000 and has raced in every All-Star Race since 2001.

EARNHARDT JR. CALLS 2000 ALL-STAR WINS AMONG MOST MEMORABLE -- With a win in the 2000 edition of NASCAR's all-Star race already on his resume, Dale Earnhardt Jr. knows what it takes to hoist the million-dollar check in Charlotte Motor Speedway's Victory Lane.

"Everything in the first several seconds count," said the driver of the No. 88 National Guard machine. "It makes you really have to hustle in all those segments to get everything you can to give yourself the opportunity to start as high as you can in that last segment. The way it's laid out really pushes you to work hard every single lap, every single restart, every single opportunity to improve your position."

Earnhardt Jr.'s hard work in his previous win led to one of the most memorable victory lanes of his career.

"It was one of the funnest victory lanes I can remember, just a lot of raw emotion," he said. "I don't think I ever saw it [the check]. I was driving for Daddy back then, and he got a hold of that one, but I really didn't care about it.

I knew it was good deal money wise but just him being there in victory lane and him being in the race, passing him in the last ten laps like we did and just winning it - we were thinking bigger than $500,000."