Jack Roush is smart to want longtime team leader Matt Kenseth to remain on Roush squad
Jack Roush is a smart man.
So the news that he is working to extend Matt Kenseth’s contract is not surprising.
Roush said Monday that Kenseth can stay with the team as long as he wants, a wise move.
"Matt Kenseth is a cornerstone of Roush Fenway and he'll be part of it as long as I am, as long as he wants to be,'' Roush said. "He certainly has a place here as long as I'm able to stay at the head of it.''
I’ve watched Kenseth race since his early days in the Busch Series, and loved his exciting battles for races and titles with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in that series. Though he came out on the losing end of those titles -- with Jr. claiming both titles -- it was clear back in the late 1990s that he had a bright future. (And in the Cup realm, Kenseth has outshined Dale Jr. without a doubt)
Kenseth has changed the sport, literally. After he won the title by a large margin in 2003 despite not winning a bunch of races, they tried to spice things up -- that change was called the Chase, and without Kenseth’s 2003 run it may not have happened.
To this day, after nearly 15 years with the Roush organization, he remains a team leader. Carl Edwards may get more headlines, but Kenseth is the one who will sneak his way up front and battle for wins almost as often as the more precocious Edwards. He is often down on himself, but the results are usually there. He is as solid a driver in terms of consistently running well as you’ll find on the grid each week.
So it’s no surprise that Jack Roush wants to keep Kenseth around as long as he wants to be with the team.
Jack likes to win, and Matt knows how to do it. It’s a no brainer. Another title is possible this year, and more in the future. There’s no reason to give up that kind of potential, and I think both sides know that’s the case.