Kenseth makes statement in Kansas - NOTES by Lugnut - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

NASCAR NOTES: Kenseth makes statement with Kansas win

Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy" Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy"

When Matt Kenseth made the unprecedented move from his longtime home at Roush/Fenway Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing, many expected him to remain a championship threat; just not this soon.

Capturing his second win of the season Sunday in Kansas, Kenseth made the statement that when you're good, it doesn't matter which team you drive for.

"I just knew it was the right place for me with the right group at the right time and all that stuff," commented Kenseth on the move to the No. 20 team. "I just knew that was where I needed to be and where I felt like I had the best chance to be the most successful."

Kenseth might not have expected success so soon, but his two wins have placed him solidly in the Chase conversation and moved him to eighth position in the point standings.

"Matt is good, and he always has been," said third place finisher Jimmie Johnson on Kenseth's ability to run up front. "He's an awesome race car driver. He impresses me in his ability to lead the team and make adjustments on the car and his knowledge of the car."

Kenseth's new team has not had a lot of success in recent years, but the veteran's knowledge and determination has given them reason to be very optimistic about this season.

"The guy can do it and always has, and I've always been impressed with him," continued Johnson on his competitor's quick start. "Sheer speed, and then when you get in traffic and making good decisions and knowing how to work traffic and race cars, it doesn't surprise me to see the success that he's having."

Johnson's teammate, Kasey Kahne, had hopes of stealing the win away from Kenseth in the final laps but could not close the deal and ended up in second place.

"We were very close at the end battling with Matt," commented Kahne on his charge at the end of the race. "I could catch him but couldn't really do anything once I got close."

Johnson and Kahne sit atop the point standing after their second and third place finishes, but they will surely be looking over their shoulders at Kenseth in the coming weeks.

"I hate to say I'm a glass half empty guy, but instead of talking about it, I like to do it and then talk about it," said Kenseth about his championship hopes. "I don't like to make predictions; I'm just not that guy."

Well, Kenseth might not make predictions, but the rest of the field certainly will, and most of them agree that the No. 20 team will be one of the teams that they need to beat if they want to keep their championship hopes alive.

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