Kenseth Races Karts, Delivers Tickets During Coke Zero 400 Media Day

Matt Kenseth karting 325 160

Matt Kenseth, middle, battles members of the media in kart racing at DIS.

DAYTONA BEACH , Fla. (June 2, 2009) -- Matt Kenseth returned to Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday.

This time, the 2009 Daytona 500 champion wasn’t battling his fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars on the daunting 31-degree high banks of “The World Center of Racing.” Instead, Kenseth, the 2009 Daytona 500 champion, was rubbing fenders with members of the media behind the wheel of a kart in the infield of Turns 3 and 4.

“It was fun,” Kenseth said of the kart racing with area media. “It’s fun to hang out with the guys. It always seems to loosen things up a little bit and you get to know them a little bit better than maybe a traditional setting when you are behind a counter and they are asking questions and you are giving them answers.”

Kenseth, who drives the No. 17 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, joined DIS President Robin Braig for Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola Media Day.

In addition to racing High Performance Karts from the Richard Petty Driving Experience, Kenseth battled promotional winners in the ARCA Driver Development Simulators at Daytona 500 Experience motorsports attraction and gave an area race fan a special treat by knocking on her front door.

Right after landing in Daytona Beach, Kenseth drove a Roush Performance Ford Mustang to the driveway of Daytona Beach’s Karen Hurd and knocked on her door.

Kenseth hand delivered Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series tickets as well as Sprint FANZONE passes. DIS President Robin Braig also handed Hurd a Daytona goodie bag filled with treasures including an autograph Daytona 500 Champion’s hat from Kenseth.

Hurd, who had already purchased Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola tickets, was randomly selected by Speedway officials for the unique experience. Kenseth treated her to a burnout when he left her house.

“She’s been coming here and watching races for a long time and to be able to drop off her tickets personally and come and see them and talk to them about the race was cool,” Kenseth said. “The coolest part was that I was driving one of Jack’s (Roush) Mustangs and she let me do a burnout in her drive way.

"They requested the burnout. I’m hoping I don’t get a ticket in the mail.”

Kenseth will return to DIS in just about a month looking to complete a rare sweep of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at DIS.

He will look to join Fireball Roberts (1962), Cale Yarborough (1968), LeeRoy Yarbrough (1969) and Bobby Allison as the only Daytona 500 champions to also win the Independence Day holiday classic in the same year.

“It took me about nine or 10 years to win one plate race so I don’t know if I’m thinking we’re going to win it but I sure hope we do,” Kenseth said. “We’re going to bring our best stuff and race as hard as we can. Hopefully we will at least be in contention. We’ve been in contention for a lot of these things and it was nice to pull one off in the spring.”

Earlier this year, Kenseth put himself into exclusive company by backing up his Daytona 500 win with a victory in the next Sprint Cup Series race when he won the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Kenseth joined Richard Petty (193), Yarborough (1977) and Jeff Gordon (1997) as the fourth Daytona 500 champion to win the following race.

He hopes his strong start to the season will help propel him into another spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the sixth straight year. Since the inception of the format, Kenseth has made the Chase every year.

Kenseth, who is also scheduled to compete in the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race, is looking forward to racing under the lights in July at DIS.

Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola start at $40 and can be purchased online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Coke Zero 400 Media Day With Matt Kenseth

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Coke Zero 400 Media Day With Matt Kenseth

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