Blogs > Nascar: Beyond the Track

Find out what's really going on in NASCAR. Look here to find out why your driver really lost his ride, or the real reason those two drivers can't stand each other. Learn about the hidden motives and reasons for the things that happen in NASCAR, from the drivers to the team owners.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Roush bombshell: Matt Kenseth leaving team at end of season, headed to a Joe Gibbs Toyota; Stenhouse to No. 17 ride

Well, the unthinkable has happened.
Matt Kenseth is leaving Roush Fenway Racing, his home for his entire Cup career. (since 1999)

Jenna Fryer of The Associated Press is reporting that Kenseth is headed to Joe Gibbs Racing next year, and Ricky Stenhouse will drive RFR's 17 car next season.

Kenseth, meanwhile, will either drive the No. 20 car or a fourth Gibbs car if Joey Logano stays, Fryer reports.

Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing, released the following statement about Kenseth leaving: "All of us at Ford are certainly disappointed to hear that Matt will be leaving, and he will be certainly missed by us and the Ford Racing fans. We are thankful for Matt's winning efforts and championship-caliber success with the Roush and Ford racing programs these past 16 years, both on and off the track. We will focus on this year and look forward to more success on the track in his No. 17 Ford Fusion this season."

My initial reactions.

1. What exactly happened at Roush to make Matt want to leave -- or to make Jack want him gone if that is what happened? They are basically family. I'm very curious about this backstory. I though Kenseth would retire in the No. 17 car.
2. Is it even possible that a Cup champ like Kenseth can't get sponsors for the full season, but a kid like Stenhouse can? Something doesn't add up on the money end to me.
3. What happens at Gibbs now? Does Joey Logano stay or go? The drama meter/silly season is starting early this season.
4. Matt Kenseth teammates with Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin? I can't believe it.
5. Matt Kenseth driving a Toyota? Again, I can't believe it.
6. Good for Stenhouse; the kid has talent and can win Cup races. I am convinced of this
7. Boy was I wrong, re: Kenseth staying. Hey, it happens to the best of us. :)

Lots more to come on this, but all I can say is I'm stunned. Especially considering that Matt has been at or near the top of the points this year all season. Rarely do drivers walk away from that situation.

Stay tuned for more information.

Become a fan of the Facebook page NASCARBeyond

Follow Matt Myftiu on Twitter @MattMyftiu


Anonymous JD said...

A few comments I have:

You commented that you couldn't tell how the money could add up for Roush to find sponsors for Ricky Stenhouse when he can't find any for Matt. The difference is the salary required to pay a 22-time winner and Cup champion as opposed to a 1st year rookie. Stenhouse's salary is going to be alot less than Kenseth's. Therefore, its going to cost sponsors less to sponsor Stenhouse for a full year than it is to sponsor Kenseth for a full year.

And I wouldn't bank 100% on him going to Gibbs. Speculation that he's talked to Gibbs is one thing, but things may have changed since Joey won at Pocono. And Gibbs isn't the only place that potentially has an open seat. Rumors have also circulated about Kenseth going to Stewart-Haas to replace Newman in the #39 and going to Penske to replace Allmendinger in the #22.

June 26, 2012 at 1:34 PM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home