This was a shock- Matt Kenseth is leaving the Rousch-Fenway Racing and will be a free agent at the end of the season. Currently, Kenseth is first in points in the Sprint Cup series.
From ESPN: NASCAR points leader Matt Kenseth, one of the longest-tenured drivers in the series, is leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the season.
will be replaced in the No. 17 Ford -- the car he has driven for all
but one of his 452 career starts -- by Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kenseth's long relationship with Ford will apparently come to an end.
Why? Good question. The team offered no answers in the sudden divorce of one of NASCAR's longest active relationships. Only Jeff Gordon, with Hendrick Motorsports since 1993, has been with his team longer than Kenseth has been with Jack Roush.
like to thank Matt Kenseth for his many years of loyal service,"
co-owner Roush said Tuesday. "Matt has been an integral part of this
organization for well over a decade, and we are extremely appreciative
of his accomplishments and contributions to the team, and will always
consider him a part of the Roush Fenway family."
Kenseth and teammate Greg Biffle
are ranked first and second in the Sprint Cup Series, clearly poised to
make a run at the championship. Kenseth opened the season with his
second Daytona 500 victory, and has 11 top-10 finishes through 16 races.
Kenseth did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press on Tuesday, but tweeted about his departure.
very thankful to Jack Roush for the opportunities he's given me over
the past 14 years. Together we have enjoyed a lot of success," he
posted. "And as a team we are committed as ever to the remainder of the
2012 season and chasing a 3rd sprint cup title for Jack and RFR."
So, where will Kenseth end up? If I was a betting guy, I thik he will end up in the 20 Home Depot car. While the current driver, Joey Logano, is an ok driver, he is not beating the #48 car, the Loews car driven by Jimmie Johnson. Home Depot is probably not that happy that Loews is beating on most weekends.
For some reason, Kenseth has not found full time sponsorship this year, despite the fact that he won Daytona and is leading in the points and gets a lot of air time on TV. Considering that Rousch has troubling finding sponsors, it's more likely that Kenseth will not have a problem finding a sponsor next year and Rousch will eventually go the way of the dinosaurs.
So, good luck to Matt at his next ride and it will be an interesting off season to watch the merry-go-round of drivers.
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