Matt Kenseth sits just seven points back of Jimmie Johnson in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings, and with two races remaining in the season he's feeling good for his chances at his first championship since 2003, per Jim Peltz of the LA Times.
Talking to the media on Friday before qualifying for Sunday's AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, Kenseth said he's "as optimistic as I've ever been" about his chances in this weekend's race.
"I feel like my race team and my race cars are capable on any given week," said Kenseth.
Last year Jimmie Johnson entered the race in Phoenix with a seven-point lead over Brad Keselewski, but blew a tire and then had mechanical failure in the final weekend to give up the points lead and the title. Kenseth, in his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing and with seven victories this year, trails Johnson by just seven points with two races remaining in the season.
Keselewski said on Friday that Johnson was vulnerable if he was run hard during the race, something that Kenseth doesn't exactly agree with.
"I don't view the 48 [team] as weak or vulnerable," Kenseth said. "They can win any weekend at any kind of race track. I just feel like, at our best, that we can run with them."