Matt Kenseth Is Returning To NASCAR Cup Series Competition

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Chip Ganassi Racing announced Monday that former NASCAR Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth will move to the No. 42 Chevrolet once the 2020 season resumes. Kenseth has not driven in NASCAR’s top series since 2018 when he returned for a 15-race replacement stint in Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 6 Ford. The 48-year-old Wisconsin native has 39 Cup Series wins that include two Daytona 500 wins in 2009 and 2012. He won the NASCAR Cup Series championship in 2003, the last year before a playoff format was instituted. Kenseth’s on-track duties with the No. 42 team will begin when the NASCAR Cup Series schedule resumes. The sports world has been on hold since mid-March as the nation continues to battle the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic. NASCAR competition officials have not yet released a revised 2020 racing schedule.

In the article “Chip Ganassi Racing taps Kenseth to drive No. 42 Chevrolet,” Ganassi said “I think Matt gives us the best chance to win, run up front and compete for wins. I’ve always gone with the mantra of trying to take the best driver available, and he’s the best driver available right now. And he brings something to our sponsors that they need right now. Stability. No baggage. Family man. Daytona 500 winner. Championship winner.” 

In the article “Chip Ganassi Racing taps Matt Kenseth to drive No. 42 for rest of the 2020 season,” Ganassi said “I have always said that when we have to fill a driver spot, that I owe it to our team, our partners and our fans to put the best available driver in the car.” We are doing exactly that with Matt. Throughout my time in NASCAR, I have always admired the way Matt Kenseth raced. He has proven to be a consistent winner, strong competitor, and respectful driver, and I’m glad we are able to add another NASCAR champion to the team for the remainder of this season.”

Kenseth’s move comes after Chip Ganassi Racing ended its relationship with Kyle Larson following Larson’s use of a racial slur on a live stream during an iRacing event April 12. Larson, who had been under contract with the team since 2013, is indefinitely suspended from NASCAR and reinstatement will only be evaluated after completion of mandatory sensitivity training. 

To me, I think this is a great opportunity for Matt Kenseth to get a shot at racing again for the first time in about a year and a half of being away from the driver’s seat. Kenseth is probably the best choice Ganassi could’ve picked from all of the drivers they chose from. Everybody originally thought that Ross Chastain would drive the No. 42 Chevrolet since Ganassi was going to have Chastain race full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2019, but his sponsor DC Solar went bankrupt. Chastain also drove a Ganssi-built car for this year’s Daytona 500, so fans thought that he was the obvious choice. Ganassi took all of us by surprise with announcing that Kenseth would be the driver of the No. 42. 

I think Kenseth is going to do pretty well for the remainder of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. He has a lot of wins and experience to prove that he is going to be a contender for wins each week. Chip Ganassi Racing is always a team to look out for every single week and Kenseth is going to take every opportunity he can to get wins this season. The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series is planning on making its return to racing at Darlington Raceway on May 17th, so stay tuned to see how the rest of the 2020 season will unfold.

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