With finishes of 23rd at the second event at Charlotte Motor Speedway and 16th last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kenseth has an average finish of 21st through his first five races back.
“Up and down, just trying to get caught up, back up to speed, limit my mistakes,” Kenseth said. “It’s been a challenge, about what I thought, maybe a little tougher for me to get acclimated and get going.
“It’s been challenging with no practice, really, for us to be able to work together as team, go through changes. Definitely wish the results were better, but it’s gone OK.”
The four intermediate races (two at Darlington, two at Charlotte) have featured the new aero package, debuted in its entirety last season with 550 horsepower and an 8-inch spoiler. Kenseth, still learning the rules package, compares it to the way an Xfinity Series car drove “four or five years ago.”
Throughout his 22-year Cup career, Kenseth has enjoyed saddling up with more horses under the hood.
“It definitely presents some challenges,” Kenseth said. “It’s hard to pass; you’ve got to pick your spots. It’s a different kind of racing; more strategy on restarts. I’ve always been a fan of less downforce and slowing down more for the corners, having the power to accelerate. You have to learn to adapt to it and make it work for you. It’s the same opportunity for everybody, so you’ve just got to be able to figure out.”
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