17 MATT KENSETH, Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: This year's Daytona 500 winner remained atop the Sprint Cup standings for the fourth straight week after Kentucky. He is 11 points ahead of second-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. and 23 points ahead of third-ranked Jimmie Johnson.
DAYTONA RECORD: 25 career starts, 2 wins, 5 top-5s, 12 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: 1st in 2009 and 2012 Daytona 500. 6th in 2011. Finished 2nd in this race last year, meaning he has finished 2nd and 1st in his last two starts on the massive 2.5-mile high speed oval.
LOOKING AHEAD: Kenseth hopes to achieve the same kind of magic Saturday night at the Budweiser Shootout that he had earlier this year in the season-opening Daytona 500, which he won for the second time in his career. Here's Kenseth's scouting report on Saturday night's race at Daytona: "I looked forward to going to Talladega more so than any plate race I have ever looked forward to in my career with as well as we ran at Daytona and how fast our cars were in February. I feel the same way about Daytona this weekend, and I am looking forward to getting down there. At Talladega, I felt we had the fastest car in the race and dominated the race as much as you can, but I felt like I messed that up at the end when Greg (Biffle) and I somehow got separated. I have been agonizing over that since Talladega, but I am looking forward to getting some redemption this weekend and returning to Daytona coming off that win in the 500. Our Roush Fords have been fast and we have been able to pass, so I am going back this weekend hoping it will be the same as our earlier superspeedway results this year."
LOOKING BACK: Kenseth stunned the NASCAR world last week when he announced he was leaving Roush Fenway Racing for an as yet unnamed team -- although the strongest rumors have him headed to Joe Gibbs Racing. As for Saturday's race at Kentucky, Kenseth finished a respectable seventh. He never really had the car to challenge, but once again Mr. Consistency came home with another top-10 finish.
ETC.: Kenseth has completed 92 percent (4,069) of the 4,425 laps contested in his 25 career starts at Daytona. His average start is 20.7 and his average finish is 16.7. He also has 4 DNFs there.