Jeff Hammond says Matt Kenseth has nothing to lose at Talladega

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Jeff Hammond says that with "no skin the game," Matt Kenseth has nothing to lose when he runs at Talladega.

SHANNON SPAKE: So what about Matt Kenseth at Talladega? In 35 starts, he's got one win. That was back in 2012 when he was driving for Roush Fenway Racing. 10 top 10s, but he has not finished better than 23rd the last five races at Talladega.

OK. So he knows that he doesn't know where or if he'll be racing next year. He's below the cutoff line going to Talladega. Would you say he has everything to lose or nothing to lose at all?

JEFF HAMMOND: Oh, that's an easy one. Nothing to lose.


JEFF HAMMOND: I mean, he's got no skin in the game anymore. I mean, he's not worried about who his friends are. He's not going to worry about the end of the season. He can go for it, do whatever is necessary. He and Jason Ratcliff could be basically some wild gamblers where they just kind of throw a lot of money at it and see what it comes out.

SHANNON SPAKE: What about experience though? We talk about this racetrack being a wild card, that anyone can win it, but does experience play into that at all, or is it really just kind of a crapshoot right there?

JEFF HAMMOND: No, it's not a crapshoot. This is where strategy comes into play. This is where somebody like Jason Ratcliff and him can get together, and they can talk about what the strong suits of a Matt Kenseth are. He can take that experience-- take it on the racetrack, and he can start figuring out who's his best dance partner.

He will recognize who's got a fast racecar, if his car is fast out front, or is he better helping somebody. It's all about positioning. More times than not, you get to the front, but can you stay there? Because if you make a mistake, you get drop-kicked from first all the way back to 12th or 15th. And that's where experience really comes into play.

SHANNON SPAKE: And let's face it, 35 starts, he's probably been in almost every situation that he can possibly be in--

JEFF HAMMOND: And probably upside down--

SHANNON SPAKE: --at Talladega.

JEFF HAMMOND: --a time or two.