Sport Matt Kenseth not expecting ‘any kind of special treatment’ at Darlington
Friday 5: NASCAR’s planned return to racing comes with a twist
Darlington Raceway will prove challenging for drivers with no practice beforehand. Also, a look at NASCAR's health guidelines for those at the track.
Of the 40 drivers
Despite not having any starts since 2018, Kenseth remains the active Cup driver in laps turned around the 1.366-mile track with 8,455. Next on the list is his teammate,(7,970 laps).
Since his first Cup start there in 1999, Kenseth has 25 Darlington starts, one win (2013) and three top fives. His only DNF in those starts was in 1999.
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As for Sunday’s race, there’s plenty Kenseth is a stranger to.
He’s never competed in the high downforce, low horsepower package the Cup Series will utilize.
It will be his first race with Chip Ganassi Racing, his first race in a Chevrolet Camaro and his first race with crew chief Chad Johnston and spotter Tony Raines.
And like the rest of the field, the 48-year-old veteran doesn’t get any practice or qualifying laps.
“Kind of a few more unknowns and not sure you know how exactly everything’s gonna feel,” Kenseth said in Thursday teleconference. “So certainly there’s a little bit of anxiety for those first few corners until you kind of get rolling and get used to things.”
But eventually, Kenseth knows there’s going to come a time when “everybody’s gonna be ready to pounce,” and it’ll likely be a restart.
A starving sports fan's guide to NASCAR, which runs the first of 7 races in 11 days on Sunday
NASCAR is nearing a return. The stock car sanctioning body is set to run seven races in 11 days over its top three series starting Sunday, when the Cup Series runs its first of four scheduled races from May 17-27. The Cup Series is NASCAR’s top level and the series that most people refer to when using the term “NASCAR.” If you’re itching to watch sports this weekend and excited to sit down and watch a NASCAR race that you normally wouldn’t, this post is your primer. You’ll find everything you need to know before the Cup Series takes the green flag at Darlington Raceway at 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox.NASCAR basicsForty cars are entered into Sunday’s race.
“Track position is very important,” Kenseth said. “You always want to get what you can get, when you can get it, so I don’t expect people to be taking it really easy or maybe giving you a whole bunch of extra room or anything like that. You certainly don’t expect any kind of special treatment. … So you’re just gonna have to try to be smart. Especially for me, just try to be smart and get through those first few laps and kind of hopefully get in a rhythm, get a little bit of room to move around and breathe and get kind of acclimated and go from there.”
Kenseth spent part of Thursday at CGR’s shop going over the “final details” of his No. 42 Chevrolet to make sure “the fit is good.”
As many drivers have, Kenseth has spent time in a simulator preparing for the first NASCAR race in 10 weeks. But Kenseth admits he didn’t devote too much time to it, simply because it can’t replace the real thing.
NASCAR at Darlington live race updates, results, highlights from the Real Heroes 400
Sporting News is tracking live updates and lap-by-lap highlights from NASCAR's race in Darlington, S.C., to resume the 2020 season. Follow along for complete results from the Real Heroes 400. MORE: Watch the Real Heroes 400 live with fuboTV (7-day free trial) NASCAR at Darlington live updates, highlights from Real Heroes 400 (Updates will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET. All times are Eastern.) What time does the NASCAR race start today? Date: Sunday, May 17 Start time: 3:30 p.m. ET TV channel: Fox Live stream: Fox Sports Go, fuboTV (7-day free trial) The NASCAR race at Darlington on May 17 is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.
“Really didn’t spend an extended period of time there because in my mind it’s still not like driving the race cars,” Kenseth said. “A lot of things are very similar, but there’s a lot of things that are different as well.”
Even with the hurdles he faces going into one of the stranger races NASCAR has ever had to hold, Kenseth is embracing a “steep” learning curve with enthusiasm.
“I’ve got to admit, I’m as excited as I’ve been to go racing in many, many years,” Kenseth said. “I’m really looking forward to getting to the track. And I really like this group of guys. Cars look nice, Camaros look like they’re really fast. … I’m really looking forward to the opportunity. I just know that it’s gonna be a big challenge. I’m gonna have to work hard and do my best to try to take advantage of that opportunity.”
Darlington here we come!
— Chip Ganassi (@GanassiChip)
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Kurt Busch wins pole for tonight’s Coca-Cola 600 .
Chevrolet drivers take the top six spots for the 600. Kurt Busch will start on the pole.It is Busch’s 28th career pole and first at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch is joined on the front row by Jimmie Johnson. Chase Elliott qualified third and is followed by Matt Kenseth and rookie Tyler Reddick. Austin Dillon was sixth, as Chevrolet drivers took the top six spots.