Kenseth steps aside from Cup competition in 2018

Brett Moist/NKPPhoto

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

After announcing in July at Kentucky Speedway that he was out of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ride at Joe Gibbs Racing, Matt Kenseth confirmed to NBC Sports that he would not be returning in 2018.

With the dichotomy of racing in the Cup Series being driven by youth and sponsorship, Kenseth has ceased his search at trying to find a ride in the Cup Series. Because of his situation, Kenseth is not considering this as “retirement”.

“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,” Kenseth told NBC Sports.

Erik Jones was announced in July as the successor of Kenseth in the No. 20 ride. Kenseth did not have the option to go out of the sport in his own terms.

“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,” he said.

Kenseth, who has been racing in the Cup series full-time since 2000, has collected 38 wins, including two Daytona 500’s He also has 179 Top 5’s, 324 Top 10’s, and 20 poles.

With the search done, Kenseth will be taking some time off to spend with his wife Katie, his three daughters, and child on the way. Kenseth sees this as “time off” in hopes the “right fit” will come his way.

“I’ll just take some time off, whatever that means,” Kenseth continued. “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.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *