Matt Kenseth Does Not Think He Will Have The Option To Return To Joe Gibbs Racing In 2018by Camille Jones July 7, 2017
SPARTA, Ky.– Matt Kenseth said on Friday at Kentucky Speedway that he believes this year will be his last season with Joe Gibbs Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
The 45-year-old Wisconsin native has had a slow start to the 2017 season. In fact, the driver of the No. 20 Toyota has only accumulated six top-10s in the first 17 races. For a driver who has made 631 starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and has 38 career wins and a series championship, there hasn’t be much to celebrate lately. Although Kenseth currently doesn’t have anything lined up for 2018, he hopes to still be competing and believes that he can still make his way to Victory Lane.
“As of today I do not have a job for next year,” said Kenseth in a media availability at Kentucky Speedway on Friday. “I certainly hope to still be racing. I think I got some wins left in me and hopefully can race for championships. Right now my focus is on finishing up this year.”
When asked if returning to his No. 20 team at Joe Gibbs Racing would be an option, Kenseth expressed uncertainty, but felt he would be leaving the organization.
“I don’t think so,” Kenseth said. “I don’t think it is. Like I said, I don’t have a ride at this moment for next year. I haven’t really worked on anything real hard. I do not think I will have the option to race at JGR next year, unfortunately.”
Kenseth has been racing at Joe Gibbs Racing since the beginning of the 2013 NASCAR season after leaving Roush Fenway Racing. He has accumulated 14 of his career wins while racing for the organization.
As ‘silly season’ ramps up in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, there will be multiple moving parts as drivers shift from team to team. One of the major players in ‘silly season’ will be the news of which driver, or drivers, may find themselves at Hendrick Motorsports in 2018. The No. 88 Chevrolet of Hendrick Motorsports remains open for next season as Dale Earnhardt, Jr. steps away from the sport full-time.
Kenseth remained quiet on any speculation that he may possibly take over the ride at the four-car powerhouse team.
“You know,” Kenseth said. “I probably already said too much about what I’m not doing next year, so I don’t really have anything to talk about for what I am doing. Like I said, at this point – at this point, I don’t have anything going on for next year and pretty focused on trying to get running better this year and winning some races.”
Kenseth is currently 11th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings, but he does not hold a win in the 2017 season.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com