Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, is still going strong as he approaches age 45 (his birthday is March 10).
He's coming off a 2016 season in which he posted two wins, one pole, eight top-five and 19 top-10 finishes. He finished fifth in the final points stadings.
Here are five keys to Kenseth recording another successful season in 2017:
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Get off to a faster start
Kenseth has won the Daytona 500 twice, the last time coming in his final season driving for Roush Fenway Racing in 2012.
So he knows what he needs to do to contend in the 59th running of the Great American Race (live on FOX at 2 p.m. ET on Feb. 26). Even if he doesn't win, a strong finish would go a long way to helping him get off to a faster start than last season -- when he finished 14th at Daytona and was sitting 20th in points two weeks later after a 37th-place finish in the third race of the season at Las Vegas.
Getty ImagesGetty Images for NASCAR
Avoid the crashes
Kenseth has prided himself throughout his long career on consistency and being around the finish races, which serves him well in the points.
But he crashed out of four events last year. Even though the wrecks obviously weren't always his fault, that's the most races he's been unable to finish because of crashes in his entire Cup career that now has spanned nearly two decades. He needs to do a better job of staying out of harm's way in 2017.
Remember age is only a number
Yes, Kenseth soon will turn 45. The oldest Cup Series champions in history were Hall of Famers Lee Petty and Bobby Allison, who both won titles when they were -- you guessed it -- 45.
No doubt Kenseth always has been great at this, and that's why he's still an effective driver. But he needs to put the fact that he's the old guy on the track out of his mind and keep putting the pedal to the metal.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesJeff Zelevansky
Continue to qualify well
By his own admission, Kenseth used to be terrible at qualifying. His first 13 seasons in Cup (11 full time), he won exactly four poles. In his last six, he's captured 18 -- including a career-high six just last season.
With the new three-stage race format being introduced by NASCAR this year, qualifying may prove to be more important than ever. Kenseth needs to keep it up -- but if he wins six poles again, he needs to translate that into more race victories.
Getty ImagesTodd Warshaw
Keep up the crew-chief chemistry
Since coming to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2013 and teaming up with crew chief Jason Ratcliff, Kenseth has won a total of 14 races.
To put that in perspective, that's the same number of races that 2015 Cup champion Kyle Busch has won over the same time period -- and it's twice as many as defending Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin since 2013. Busch and Hamlin are Kenseth's younger teammates at JGR, but it's clear that Kenseth has great chemistry with Ratcliff and maybe the young(er) guns can still learn a thing or two from the old man in the JGR driver lineup.