Matt Kenseth Isn’t “Making Any Plans” For The 2018 Seasonby Hunter Thomas November 4, 2017
FORT WORTH, Tex. – Matt Kenseth, the 2003 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion announced on Friday that he will step away from full-time competition for an unknown amount of time following the conclusion of the 2017 season.
The NASCAR Silly Season continues to take shape as there are only three races remaining on the schedule for 2017. Kenseth, who has been competing full-time in NASCAR’s premier series since 2000, filled in a major piece of the puzzle with the announcement. Although the veteran has amassed 38 wins, 179 top-five and 324 top-10 finishes since 1998, he says that he’s not currently searching for a ride next year. Kenseth isn’t using the word “retirement”, but he is planning on stepping away from competition.
“Yeah,” said Kenseth when asked if he was not actively searching for a ride for the 2018 season. “That’s accurate. I mean I just – yeah that’s pretty accurate. I’m not committing to anything for 2018. I’m just gonna – I don’t know, I mean the retirement word doesn’t really make a lot of sense in this sport really because there’s, it’s not like the NFL where you get a pension if you officially retire or you do any of that stuff. Mostly it’s for people like Jr. that got to fill the seat and have a sponsor and all that stuff. For me it’s just different because I didn’t really have that option, my seat got filled before, before any of that so there’s really no reason to talk about it. I’ll just take some time off, whatever that means. I don’t know if that’s a year, two years, three months, four months, I mean you never know what happens. Maybe something comes along that really makes you excited and it feels like it’s going to be a fit, you might go do. Certainly not gonna rule that out, but for now, I’m not making any plans for 2018. I just plan on having some time off.”
The 45-year-old Wisconsin native competed for Roush Fenway Racing from 1999 to 2012 before moving to over to the Joe Gibbs Racing organization, where he is now. Throughout the years, Kenseth has finished out many seasons in the top-five and top-10 of the championship points standings. As of right now, he currently sits 10th in the standings; however, he is winless so far this year. While Victory Lane has eluded him this year, he has been running upfront. With three races to go, Kenseth has eight top-five and 15 top-10 finishes. His best effort so far this year was a runner-up finish at Watkins Glen International back in August.
On Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, Kenseth was fifth fastest in opening practice, 11th in second practice and 10th in final practice. Kenseth will start 35th in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com