Matt Kenseth Confirms He Has No Deal With Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018, Avoids 88 Talk

Photo by Jerry Jordan/Kickin' the Tires

By Jerry Jordan, Editor
SPARTA, Ky. – “You know I’ve probably already said too much about what I am not doing next year,” Matt Kenseth said, after being asked if he was heading to Hendrick Motorsports to run the No. 88 Chevrolet until the team’s development drivers – William Byron and Alex Bowman – were ready for NASCAR’s top series.

Kenseth was first-up Friday morning at Kentucky and it didn’t take long for questions about his plans in 2018 to come up. Last year, DeWalt signed a deal with Joe Gibbs Racing as a partial sponsorship for Kenseth through 2017. And in April, Circle K came on-board the No. 20 Toyota but it was also said to be a deal that ran through the end of the year.

Throw into the mix that Coach Joe Gibbs said that he was only loaning Erik Jones to Furniture Row Racing for a single year and it leads to Kenseth confirming that he won’t be at JGR in 2018, thus opening up talk about the No. 88.

“As of today, I do not have a job for next year,” Kenseth said. “I certainly hope to be racing. I think I’ve still got some wins left in me and hopefully can race for championships but right now, my goal is focusing on this year.”

Kenseth, nor any other JGR driver, has made it to victory lane in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017 and it is something he is focusing on getting resolved.

“Right now, my focus is on finishing up this year and as we talked about it has been a slow start,” he said. “It has not been a good year, at all, not nearly up to my standards or my team’s standards. You know, really trying to get back to victory lane and hopefully get qualified for the playoffs here and hopefully have a shot at the championship is pretty much my focus at this point.”

Pressed on his plans for 2017, Kenseth reiterated that he likely won’t have a spot at JGR.
“I don’t think so,” Kenseth said. “Like I said, I don’t have a ride at this moment for next year. I haven’t really worked on anything really hard but I do not think I will have the option to work at JGR next year, unfortunately.”

One Comment

  1. Frank

    July 7, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Matt will have no trouble finding a good ride. As for Eric Jones, if he can opt out on Joe Gibbs he should stay where he is. His ride now is better than anything Gibbs can give him.

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