Matt Kenseth Post-Race Interview | 2017 PHOENIX | NASCAR VICTORY LANE

Video Details

Matt Kenseth checks in with the 'NASCAR Victory Lane' crew after winning the Can-Am 500(k) at Phoenix International Raceway.

ANNOUNCER: Kenseth's gonna win in Phoenix!


REPORTER 1: And further evidence why Matt Kenseth is not done yet. It's his first win since July 2016, 39th career Monster Energy series win, second win at Phoenix. And today Matt Kenseth led 62 of the 312 laps. He joins us now, from victory lane in Phoenix.

Matt, congratulations so much. You've always told us how much you have to appreciate these wins, because you never know when the next one is going to come. But for you personally, looking back at this one, can you possibly put it into words, how much you appreciate this?

- No, I really can't. I've never really tried to reflect on anything in my career, while you're in the midst of it. Even really the last two weeks, I've tried really hard not to. And obviously, there's been a lot of talk about it. And I thought back about certain things here or there.

But it's so competitive. You gotta be in the here and now, and work on this week, and work out next week. And keep trying to do better. So I typically don't think about that stuff a lot. To win the race here is just it's really, really hard for me to describe. Honestly, it's just a really, really special day. It couldn't have been any cooler.

REPORTER 2: Matt, we know a few weeks ago there were some mistakes made on pit road, at Kansas. But your pit crew today, I think every time you came to pit road, you gained spots. And to me, that last trip to pit road where they won the battle, that was pretty critical.

- Yeah, that was a pivotal moment of the race for us, to be honest with you. They really, in my opinion, won the race. They put me there to gain spots all day. We just haven't been real super stellar-- run a lot of restarts here the last few months. But the last three or four months, my pit crew has been on fire. They've just been doing an unbelievable job, and they've been putting us there.

And for whatever reason we maybe don't have a car quite good enough. Or I don't get restarted quite good enough. Or we're not good enough in a short run, whatever it is. We've struggled a little bit holding that track position. But those guys putting me in front of Danny and giving me control of the restarts, was certainly a key moment in our win, for sure.

- Matt, there were a lot of different strategies and agendas. But you and Chase Elliott were on the same strategy, as far as tires. Both of you made your last trip to pit road for four tires at lap 231. And then on the final restart. with 31 go, things got jumbled up and he got away from you. Did you feel at that point, you could run him back down? Because you ran him down in a hurry.

MATT KENSETH: Not right when he passed me. Honestly, I just had that feeling of dread like, I just can't believe we let another one of these get away. I've had some times in the last couple of years, where we've been leading late. Had a lot of late cautions, a lot of late restarts. And maybe getting beat on the last one, like Loudon last fall. You just had a lot of that happen and I honestly, just had that feeling of dread.

I was able to hang in there. It's tough to pass today, and I saw him slip once off of two. And it kind of gave me just a glimmer of hope. And then he slipped a little harder. And I gained about a car length. Then when he had the big slip, honestly, I just got the tingles from head to toe. Because I knew it was on. We were too loose when he passed me.

Soon as he got in front of me, I tightened my car up and actually, the balance was really good. And I could really get off turn two fast. And that's where he was getting hung out and spinning the tires right there. So I felt like that was a good match to at least have a chance to go race him.

- Hey, Matt, we know there's a lot of things that are out of our control, especially, in the future. You told Kenny Wallace this morning on Race Day, that you really felt these two, this weekend and next weekend, are your last races. Is there any way a win today changes anything?

- Probably not the way you'd think. If anything, it probably changes it to confirm my decision or belief that this is meant to be it. I fought it for a long time, but another way you should really embrace it. Because how many people really get to go out in equipment that can go out and win races? And if you do the right thing, you can go try to race for championships.

Not very many people get to do that. So to be able to win today is just an unbelievable feeling. Next week is more than likely it, and it's just a great way to cap it off. Hard to describe.

- Well, Matt, congratulations once again. You are a true champion. Thank you so much for joining us, and way to go, man. Good job.

- I appreciate it, guys. Thanks for having me.