Matt Kenseth Welcomes Valvoline For Three Races In 2010

Sal Sigala Jr.Senior Analyst IMarch 7, 2010

ATLANTA - MARCH 05:  Matt Kenseth drives the #17 Valvoline Ford during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 5, 2010 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)
John Harrelson/Getty Images

Valvoline, the leading innovator and supplier of quality, high-performing automotive products, who first teamed up with Roush Fenway driver Mark Martin back in 1990, will once again find itself on the hood of yet another RFR driver for this weekend's Kobalt Tools 500 in Atlanta.

Martin, who is no longer driving the No. 6 RFR Ford, took Valvoline to victory lane 31 times, along with finishing second three times in the driver point standings during the 11 year period before Pfizer took over in 2001.

Valvoline has been to victory lane a total of 44 times with RFR in the Sprint Cup Series, and is hoping to add on to that total when they take over primary sponsorship duties with the driver of the No. 17 RFR Ford Fusion, Matt Kenseth, for three races this season.

After the debut at Atlanta on Sunday, they will also serve as the primary sponsor for April’s Talladega race weekend, as well as the November Cup Series race in Phoenix.

“This weekend is going to be great for our No. 17 team to showcase the partnership Roush Fenway Racing has with Valvoline,” commented Kenseth.

Kenseth also added that, “We use Valvoline products in our race cars every weekend and our engine shop relies on the performance advantage their motor oil gives us in order to get the most we can out of our engines. It’s pretty cool that we get to run the No. 17 Valvoline Ford Fusion at Atlanta this weekend.”

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Kenseth comes into Atlanta with three top-10, and seven top-five finishes in the first three races of the 2010 season.  He is also currently sitting fourth in the driver point standings.

Last season at this time, Kenseth looked like the driver to beat after going to victory lane in the first two races, but then fell off pace when he lost an engine at Las Vegas while only completing six laps and finishing 43rd.

After a disappointing 12th place finish dropped him down to fifth in the driver point standings after last season’s Kobalt 500, Kenseth would eventually miss the chase for the Sprint Cup Championship with two wins, seven top-fives, and 12 top-10 finishes.

“Atlanta is a track where you not only race your competitors, but you race the track. It’s really high-banked and fast,” said Kenseth.

Kenseth also added that, “You start off fast and the track gets slick, so you’re always looking for a different groove and for more grip.

"The cars are tougher to drive and they move around a lot more than the old cars used to, so you want to make sure that your car isn’t too loose in the turns.”