Matt Kenseth said the decision to change crew chiefs from Drew Blickensderfer to veteran Todd Parrott was prompted after feeling like his team lacked a spark at Daytona.
Kenseth answered the “Why now?” question by taking full responsibility for the change.
“The timing of the change is 100 percent my fault,” Kenseth said Friday. “Jack [Roush, team owner] talked to me in November and asked if we thought we were OK with everything we had going on, and I really did.”
But the way the team reacted at Daytona, Kenseth said, something needed to be done. The team had a top-10 finish, but Kenseth felt his team was missing its mojo.
“[The timing] doesn’t make any sense,” Kenseth acknowledged. “It’s not really good for anybody, but it’s just kind of the way it went down. I thought instead of dragging it out it was just something that needed to be done.”
Kenseth said the change was necessary in his mind because his team lacked fire or desire. It needed a strong voice to lead, and Kenseth is a self-admitted bad leader.
“You almost felt like they’d come in and they were just kind of going through the motions,” Kenseth said. "I was like, ‘We need to get some spark into the group somehow and get everybody back to what this is about.’
“I’m a big football fan, so watching Drew Brees fire up his guys before the game with all his chants and singing. … I’m probably not the guy to do that, and I just felt like there was something that needed to be changed.”
Will Parrott be the answer? Roush said Parrott had the job on an “interim basis,” but Kenseth offered praise for his new crew chief by saying Parrott’s voice “thunders through the room” as a strong leader.