All indications are that after the 2012 season, Matt Kenseth will be joining a lot of Americans in the un-employment line. The 2003 Sprint Cup Champion and current points leader will be leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the season, but I doubt seriously if he will be drawing a weekly check from the government.
Did Matt see the wring on the wall?
There is a lot of speculation out there as to why he is leaving Roush Fenway Racing. First and foremost, he is in the final year of his contract and Jack Roush is having a boat load of trouble keeping a sponsor under the #17 Ford Fusion. The question here is, why is RFR having so much problem with Matt’s sponsorship? He has the most impressive resume there(at RFR) within the stable. Is it because Matt is so laid back that sponsors are afraid of him, or is it because keeping sponsors at RFR has always been a problem ?
Wasn’t it a lack of sponsorship and being the top dog at Roush that cost Jeff Burton his ride in the middle of the 2004 season? Jeff was being sponsored most of that season out of Jack’s pocket, does that sound familiar? At the time, there were rumors in the air about why he was leaving and where he would be landing. Jeff Burton left in the middle of the season and took up residence at Richard Childress Racing in the #31 ride.
With the bulk of the good sponsors lining up with Carl Edwards, and RFR needing to move Ricky Stenhouse Jr up to the bigs, I’m sure Matt Kenseth could see it coming, after all isn’t this the modus operandi for Roush Fenway Racing? Sure sounds like it to me.
Where will he land?
After an interview with Sporting News yesterday, it sounds like Matt has a deal already signed, but he isn’t able at this time to tell us about it. This of course gives us as fans time to speculate. If they were to come right out and tell us, we would miss out on a bunch of fun trying to speculate, so let’s speculate.
Now I know JD Gibbs has said they were committed to Joey Logano and his future at Joe Gibbs Racing, but he didn’t say they were committed to keeping him in the #20 Home Depot Toyota. There has been season long speculation, with Joey in the final season of his contract, that if he didn’t make the chase, he would more than likely be out of the Home Depot ride at seasons end.
I’m sure Home Depot, is getting tired of being on the losing end of the Home Improvement Wars, always getting beat by that guy in the Lowes Chevrolet, and have no doubt been putting pressure on JGR to make a move. What would be a better move than hiring a quiet down home blue collar driver like Matt Kenseth. And by the way, a driver who comes with a veteran resume, a cup championship and two Daytona 500’s.
With Penske Racing and Ford not willing to pool the resources to keep Matt in a Blue Oval, I think Matt Kenseth to Joe Gibbs Racing is a done deal, and we just need to wait for the formal announcement to be made. I think we will be seeing Matt Kenseth in the Home Depot Toyota taking the Green Flag at the 2013 Bud Shootout.
Getting To The End.
The big question on my mind at this time is, with The #17 leading the points chase at this time, will Jack Roush pour the resources into it, to win a championship this year? With Greg Biffle just 11 points back in second place, does Jack do anything to either keep Matt off the podium in Homestead, or does he push the #16. I don’t think Carl Edwards will be a factor, but the Biffle situation is very interesting to say the least.
Photo Courtesy Getty Images For Nascar
Follow Me On Twitter @Spin_47