DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2009) – How did Matt Kenseth follow up his victory in the historic Daytona 500?
By winning again.
After last week’s whirlwind cross-country four-day media tour celebrating his Daytona 500 victory, Kenseth became the fourth driver in NASCAR history to back up his Daytona 500 win with a victory in the next race by capturing Sunday’s Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
Kenseth joined Richard Petty (1973), Cale Yarborough (1977) and Jeff Gordon (1997) as the fourth Daytona 500 champion to win the following race (Note: The Daytona 500 was not the first race of the NASCAR season until 1982).
“It feels pretty unbelievable to win the first two races – especially Daytona, to be able to come out of the box and run competitively here,” Kenseth said.
Before strapping into his No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford for the race weekend at Auto Club Speedway, Kenseth spent four days across the country promoting his Daytona 500 victory.
Among the activities he participated in included:
• Inducting his winning car into Daytona 500 Experience motorsports attraction
• Appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman and Live with Regis and Kelly in New York City
• Luncheon with the New York City media at the famed Friars Club
• Taking a trolley car ride across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
• Auto Club Speedway Day in Los Angeles
“The week was really fun, actually,” Kenseth said. “It was probably more fun than I expected it to be. I had a really good time, and it was a long week and kind of a tiring week. It was a lot of fun, got to see a lot of people, lot of places, and I probably enjoyed it more than I expected to and probably saw more people than I expected to in different areas as well. The whole week was fun. I’m glad to be back at the race track.”
One of the highlights of the week was appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman. Kenseth had been on the show previously to read the Top 10 lists with other NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, but never had the opportunity to sit down on the couch and chat with Letterman.
“Letterman was probably one of the coolest things,” Kenseth said. “Once we started racing and running better, for some reason, I’ve always been like, ‘If I could go on one show, it would be to go on David Letterman and actually be on the couch and talk to him.’ ”
Tickets for the 51st annual Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.