The driver of the number 17 Dewalt Ford leads the NASCAR Winston
Cup race by 258 points over Dale Earnhardt Jr.
SI: Since 1975, only one driver, Bobby Allison in '81, has held a
lead of 180 points or more after 15 races and squandered it. Why
not pull a Joe Namath right now and guarantee victory?
Kenseth: I can't do that. But I don't want to be the one to blow
it either. It's possible to squander that many points.
SI: Could someone ever make a movie that accurately reflects
August 17, 2003
Kenseth: Yes, but I don't know how interesting it would be if you
didn't add some Hollywood stuff. On Saturday after we get done
with the Busch race, we're sitting around just playing video
games all night. That probably wouldn't make a good movie.
SI: Has there ever been a good racing movie?
Kenseth: Stroker Ace was pretty good. Burt Reynolds dressed up as
that chicken? I love that!
SI: If you could choose your own car number, what would it be?
Kenseth: Number 8. That has always been my lucky number.
SI: That's Junior's number. Ever tell him you want it?
Kenseth: He knows that. He did an appearance in Green Bay
[Kenseth's from Wisconsin] a few years ago, and he saw one of my
old cars with the number 8 on it. Everybody gave him a hard time
SI: At what age is a NASCAR driver at his or her peak?
SI: How old are you?
Kenseth: Thirty-one (laughs).
SI: If you could trade places with one other athlete for one day,
who would it be?
Kenseth: Brett Favre. I think it would be cool to be a
SI: What's your favorite memory of Dale Earnhardt Sr.?
Kenseth: Probably the first time I met him, at the drivers'
meeting at Dover in 1998 for my first Cup race. He talked to me
about racing with Dale Jr. and how he was happy that we were
friends. He said to me, "Don't hit me when you lap me today." I
was like, Yeah, like I'm going to lap Dale Earnhardt. The cool
thing was I actually did lap him that day. And that's my favorite
memory of him. --Richard Deitsch
For more from Matt Kenseth, go to si.com/scorecard.