NASCAR star Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, wowed race fans in downtown Phoenix when he revved up his Camry and performed a burnout on 3rd Street. Kenseth, the 2003 Winston Cup Champion and a two-time Daytona 500 winner, was in town to promote the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, Nov. 9.
Before climbing into the car, Kenseth spoke with Phoenix-area media about what he enjoys about racing at PIR.
“We’ve always had great fan support out there,” he said. “It’s always fun to come and watch the grandstands be full here and so many people come out to watch us race.”
Kenseth was also asked about how the track’s surface, which was repaved in 2011, has changed in recent years.
“I like it. The pavement keeps aging a little bit more; the groove moves up a little bit more,” he said. “It makes it a little bit easier to pass. It’s a great race track.
Kenseth, the winner of the 2002 Checker Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil at PIR, also gave some insight into the upcoming Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, which is the final race in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, and the pressure that will be on the drivers and their teams in Phoenix.
“Of course, there’s a huge sense of urgency,” he said. “It’s another elimination round before four lucky guys are going to go to Homestead and race for a championship.”
Following the burnout, Kenseth held a moderated question-and-answer session with fans at the Hard Rock Café where he talked about topics ranging from the race at PIR to a children’s book he and his wife Katie released earlier this year.