Matt Kenseth is not in a hurry to win another championship so he can show his one-win championship from 2003 was no fluke.“There’s certainly no apologies for the way we won that championship,” he said.But it would be nice.“Sure. We’d love to win it in the new format,” he said.The new format is the Chase format. The NASCAR Sprint Cup “playoff” system created in 2004, the year after Kenseth won the championship with a season that included only that one victory, 11 top-5s, but 25 top-10s, the season high that year.So Kenseth walked away with the trophy, even though points runner-up Jimmie Johnson won three times. Fourth-place finisher Jeff Gordon also won three times. Sixth-place Ryan Newman won eight times. And 11th-place Kurt Busch won four times.The response was the Chase system. It was like a “Kenseth Rule.”Kenseth shrugged. Asked about it in a conference call with reporters this week, he didn’t take the bait. “We had an unbelievable season that year,” said Kenseth, who leads the standings after winning Sunday at Chicago. “We didn’t have the fastest cars, lead the most laps, but we were consistently in the top five and had really, really good finishes, really good teamwork that whole entire year.”Besides, he said, it wasn’t like he was trying not to win races.“I’ve never been in a race before that I haven’t wanted to win,” he said. “If we could have won more races that year, been quicker, had circumstances go our way, we would have loved that to happen. It wasn’t like we weren’t trying to win more races. We had an incredible year that year, like I said. Didn’t have the wins, but had a lot of good finishes.”For now, Kenseth is happy to think about 2013. His six victories leads the series, thank you very much.“I’ve learned to enjoy wins more, especially after you’ve gone on a losing streak,” he said. “We had two seasons without a win one time. When you struggle some, have some things go on like that, you certainly learn to appreciate and enjoy the wins more.”And, for Kenseth, the championship.Massey on topSpencer Massey is at the top of the standings in NHRA Top Fuel after a runner-up finish in Charlotte.So the Fort Worth driver is on a high coming to his “home” race, the AAA NHRA Texas Fall Nationals this weekend at Texas Motorplex.But being close to home doesn’t guarantee anything. Massey has not won at the Ennis track.Qualifying is Friday and Saturday, with the finals starting at 11 a.m. Sunday.
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407 Twitter: @calexmendez