Daytona 500 Champ Likes Chicago, But He’s A Packers Fan

CHICAGO (CBS) — Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth is in town Thursday meeting fans and talking to reporters, and he’s looking forward to attending a Bears-Packers football game next season.

But don’t look for him to be singing “Bear Down, Chicago Bears” in the stands at Soldier Field.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss reports

The Daytona 500 this past February was most notable for a giant fireball that erupted when Juan Pablo Montoya hit a truck full of jet fuel, forcing two-hour delay. The primetime race lasted into the wee hours of the morning, but Kenseth came out on top.

“It was a crazy one, so glad to come out on top after all that. It was a long race by the time it started on Monday night and finished early Tuesday morning, so it was a long couple of weeks down there at Daytona,” he told WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss.

Kenseth will be competing at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet this fall, and he’s looking forward to attending a Bears-Packers matchup the day before.

“I’ve always enjoyed coming to Chicago. I’m obviously a diehard Packer fan. They play the Thursday before the first race down here, so I’m looking forward to watch the Packer-Bear matchup; before we get to the race, we can hear something,” he said. “I’m hoping the packers come out on top, obviously, growing up in Wisconsin, and always being a big Packer fan. But I was entertaining. I was fun.”

He admits that at games at Soldier Field, he has encountered some less-than-friendly Bears fans.

“The fans are great at the racetrack. You know, whenever I go to a Bears game, the fans are great too,” Kenseth said. “But I struggle a little bit more because I’m a Packer fan, so I wear my Packer gear. So I get a little abuse going in and out of Soldier Field, but thankfully, I get more abuse on the way in than the way out. So I hope that keeps up the next time I go there.”

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