- Associated Press - Saturday, June 22, 2013

SONOMA, CALIF. (AP) - It was exactly one year ago that word began to spread that Matt Kenseth had privately told Jack Roush he was leaving the organization after 14 years. Kenseth planned to move to Joe Gibbs Racing, and the decision was a NASCAR stunner.

So far, it seems to have been a brilliant move on Kenseth’s part.

The 2003 NASCAR champion heads into Sunday’s race at Sonoma ranked fifth in the Sprint Cup standings with three victories.

“I feel like we’re early in what I hope will be a long time spent at JGR and I hope we’ll do a lot more things,” said Kenseth, who began his tenure with JGR with a dominating car at the Daytona 500 that suffered an engine failure while he was leading.

“There’s been ups and downs. There’s been things that have happened, but certainly I think we’ve had more success than a lot of us maybe would have thought we would to get

going. I feel really good about the early part of our season and where we’re at and how we’ve been performing. Hopefully we can keep that up. It’s been an awesome start.”

But Kenseth isn’t expecting much out of Sunday’s race at Sonoma Raceway.

He’s got just one top-10 finish in 13 previous starts on the road course and his average finish of 21st on the 1.99-mile track. He’s not much better at Watkins Glen, where his average finish is 15th.

“I don’t know exactly why it is, I’ve always really enjoyed Watkins Glen but this track has been a little bit more of a struggle,” Kenseth said. “They’re really, really different. This one’s always been very challenging for me. It’s really narrow. It’s really slick. It’s just been a bad challenge.”

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