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Twenty-five years later, Fennig was back on Victory Lane at NASCAR’s biggest race, leading Roush Fenway’s Matt Kenseth to his second Daytona 500 victory.

Yep, after all the changes in NASCAR, the 59-year-old Fennig’s still got it.

“It think that’s amazing,” Kenseth said. “I think it’s harder to do for a crew chief than a driver to keep his performance at that level for that long. There are so many different rules and so much more technology that is introduced. The cars change, the setups change, the theories change, the aerodynamics change. Jimmy just adapts to the changes and still wins.”

Fennig has led Roush Fenway cars to 32 wins during his career and helped guide the team to its second Sprint Cup championship in 2004 as crew chief for Kurt Busch.

Not long after his second Daytona 500 win as a crew chief, Fennig was already looking to move on.

“We live with these race cars,” he said. “Bobby and Matt’s wins were both enjoyable. But the big thing is, you have to make sure you are prepared for the next race _ every time. It’s nice to celebrate something like that, but you don’t have time for a lot of that in this business.”


KENSETH’S COMEDY: Among the numerous appearances Matt Kenseth made following his Daytona 500 victory was a stop at “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”

Delivering a series of one-liners to Leno’s question, `How high are gas prices?” Kenseth said he was a little nervous in front a big crowd, but Leno and the crew helped him feel at ease.

And, yes, he did write some of his own material.

“He took some time with us, made us feel comfortable, did a little rehearsal and even changed some jokes a little bit for me and added some things I thought were funnier,” Kenseth said. “He told me that, if I thought it sounded better like this, to go ahead and do it.”


SLICK PIR: Drivers were impressed by the grip at PIR during the fall race after the mile oval was reconfigured and repaved over the summer.

They’re not finding it so good the second go-round on the new surface.

Numerous drivers bobbled through their practice and qualifying sessions, particularly around turns 1 and 2.

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