Skip to comments.Kenseth out, Stenhouse in at Roush Fenway starting in 2013
Posted on 06/26/2012 10:16:26 AM PDT by Josh Painter
Here's a summer's-day stunner: Matt Kenseth, the Sprint Cup points leader and current best average finisher, is leaving Roush Fenway at the end of the 2012 season.
His replacement will be Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the reigning Nationwide series champion and a driver well positioned to make the jump to Sprint Cup.
The Roush Fenway statement announcing Kenseth's departure was long on gratitude "We're fortunate that we were able to tap into Matt's potential and bring him on board many years ago," said Jack Roush but short on the specifics of whether Kenseth jumped or was pushed out of the No. 17 Ford Fusion.
Kenseth also gave a hint of the direction of the departure on Twitter. After thanking Roush and expressing an intention to continue to push hard the rest of the season, he added, "Although I have nothing to announce regarding 2013, I feel the timing of this announcement gives RFR ample time to get things lined up..." (Ellipses his.) It's not too big a leap to project that Kenseth pulled the plug, but out of respect to Roush gave the team five months' notice to get prepared for the transition ... and, of course, put himself in play for another job.
Still, Kenseth later noted that there's work to do this year. "Darien [Grubb] and Tony [Stewart] proved to us last year there is no such thing as a 'lame duck' team or season," he said. "We will continue to go to work and race hard."
Certainly, Kenseth's sponsorship issues have played a part in this...
(Excerpt) Read more at sports.yahoo.com ...
This situation would have been unlikely to come to pass in normal circumstances, but Obama's socialist policies have tanked the economy & killed any real recovery. And so NASCAR is in the rare situation of suffering from a sponsorship deficit. Most Cup teams are cutting back, and drivers have far fewer opportunities to move up from Nationwide to Cup than in years past.
24 yrs old.
17 years racing experience.
He really took off when he got into Tony Stewart’s midget/sprint program.
Looks like Roush was afraid to lose him, couldn’t find enough $$ to bring back a 4th car, so dumped Kenseth.
The word I have heard is he will be going to JGR, in the 20 car. Which of course leaves Logano out. But that might be complicated now if Joey capitalizes on his recent success at Pocono. Silly Season just got a little bit sillier.
Logano is kind of an interesting case.
Came into Cup so young, and now it’s like he’s a “journeyman” at age 22.
Silly Season getting earlier and earlier each year.
As the Baraqqi Depression grinds on and the amount of corporate sponsorship dwindles, competition for top line rides is intense.
It’s no longer good enough just to be a great driver. Today’s NASCAR stars must be good politicians. They have to be effective spokesmen for their sponsors, like Ronald Reagan was for GE. They must also be able to relate to their fan base like Sarah Palin does.
Gone are the days of Cale and Dale. Drivers with charisma (Carl Edwards) and/or who are loved by the fans (Dale Jr.) will survive NASCAR’s lean sponsorship years.
Yeah Kenseth has the personality of a novocaine shot.
Excellent driver for sure, really consistent.
If he goes to Gibbs as rumored he’d be a solid anchor since the other two guys are emotional basket cases.
And Danica will alternate championships with Junior for the rest of our lives.