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Jack Roush speechless? Well, not quite, but still surprised at 2-for-2


Jack Roush is getting pretty good at popping the corks (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


  By Mike Mulhern

  FONTANA, Calif.
   Jack Roush is rarely at a loss for words, but Matt Kenseth's two-for-two start to the new NASCAR season does have the veteran car owner a bit surprised.
   The Daytona win, well, rain makes for strange days, yes.
  "Winning Daytona under rain was a surprise. It caught me totally off-guard," Roush concedes.
   But California, that was a solid Kenseth victory, and over a hard-charging Jeff Gordon….a scenario that could well be repeated this weekend in Las Vegas, in Round Three of the Sprint Cup tour.
   Roush says that before Sunday's start the man he was most worried about was Jimmie Johnson. And with good reason. Johnson won here Labor Day weekend, and he ran second to Carl Edwards one year ago.
   "We were really taken aback by how well the Hendrick cars were running throughout practice, particularly Jimmie, who was just awesome," Roush said. "He certainly put a real high mark up there that we had to look at it.
   "Still, as we started the race, I knew that Matt was pretty good because one of the things about Matt Kenseth is he doesn't practice as well as a lot of people do -- he goes looking for the feel he likes in the car.
nbsp;  "He reminds me of David Pearson -- when I first got involved in this sport, I was around the Wood Brothers, Leonard and Glen, and they would
talk about how with David, they could never tell how much car they had until it was time for it to count in the race.
   "And Matt's a little like that."
   It wasn't just a one-man show for Roush with Kenseth.
   "Greg Biffle looked like he had the best car," Roush said. "But he stopped squarely on the air line, and (crew chief) Greg Erwin made a good call by having him back up. So Greg missed an opportunity.
   "I know Carl Edwards was a little disappointed. And David Ragan and (crew chief) Jimmy Fennig will be a little disappointed.
   "Donnie Wingo and Jamie McMurray had a brake problem, and that was unfortunate.
   "But all of our Fords ran well.

    "So as I look at the no-testing program we're on, and not being
able to come to this track and test, it's clearly played to the
strength of the people that have had success – it's played to
Hendrick's program, it's played to Gibbs' program, with the way that
Kyle Busch has run, and it's played to ours as well."

    With Kenseth's win Sunday night Roush has now won five straight spring 500s here.

   "I don't expect that to continue," Roush conceded. "My experience is that these things tend to even themselves out.

   "I just hope when we have to give back all this success, I'm not here, I'm someplace else."


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