So, here’s a good Kenseth story.
From his very first visit to Pocono in 2000 until, well, early last Sunday evening, @MattKenseth dreaded going to the “Tricky Triangle.” Bad enough, we had to go twice. There was just something about the place that plagued him. At the end of every race he’d say, “Sorry guys, I really suck here.” By the time he got to his rental car I would text, “You really do suck here” – just to make light of the day.
I’m not a big fan of the place either. For a spotter, it undoubtedly offers the worst view on the circuit. Turn one is far away, and it’s tough to clear your driver off turn three. So it was a collective set of circumstances that always made for a bad weekend. It’s one of the venues that I don’t miss.
In July of 2005, I got married on the weekend of the Pocono race. It was on a Friday night so that my friends could attend. It was quite the gala at a resort in the Pocono Mountains called The Chateau.
Well, five years later we went our separate ways. We divorced, and I buried her in my backyard. Just kidding. She’s alive and well – and we’re even Facebook friends.
Although Matt was sympathetic, he relished the opportunity to kick up his sarcastic smartass sense of humor – in a manner that I’ve been accustomed to for the past fifteen years.
Prior to each Pocono race beginning in 2011, Kenseth would either text, email or transmit on the radio some sarcastic quip about my wedding or the demise of my marriage.
“Getting married this weekend?”, “Hey, is your wedding Friday or Saturday?”, “How come I didn’t get an invitation to your wedding?”, “Oh, just so you know, I forgot to get you a wedding gift.” It’s continued to this very day – and I suspect for years to come. With him, it just never ends.
In 2012, for the first time in his career, he led some laps June in the race – I think it was ten or so. When he crossed the line for the sixth lap, he keyed up his mic and said, “Calinoff, I’ve now led more laps here than the amount of years you were married.” Nothing out of the ordinary.
On Saturday night of this year’s June race, he sent me a text:
MATT: Hey, I was thinking about you today.
ME: What was the occasion?
MATT: I took a ride on my motorcycle today and rode right past the Chateau.
ME: That’s probably what I should have done!
MATT: LOL! That was funny!
Aside from him, his family and team, I don’t think there was anyone happier than I to see him take the checkers on Sunday. It was always such a struggle, so it was cool for him to be able to enjoy the success.
After the race, I sent him a text with congratulations noting my joy and surprise that he won at Pocono – and referenced a milestone.