Matt Kenseth’s Cup Series career doesn’t have an end date. At least publicly, anyway.
Kenseth and his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team announced a six-race sponsorship with Circle K convenience stores on Wednesday. The announcement wasn’t a surprise to many. But there was apparently a segment of conspiracy theorists convinced Kenseth’s announcement was going to be a retirement one.
Kenseth isn’t going anywhere. And he said that when he does hang up his fire suit he may not even make an announcement. From NBC Sports:
“I probably just wouldn’t show up at Daytona and just everybody say was Matt racing this week? Or I’d send out like a four-word tweet.
“I don’t know if I’d announce it all.”
In other words, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver hasn’t considered the proposition?
Kenseth was aware of the conspiracy theorists too.
“I’m just glad I’m still driving tomorrow,” he said. “I wasn’t sure after all the reports on the internet all weekend. People blowing me up during my Easter vacation, so I appreciate that. Whoever didn’t have anything else to do in their basement this weekend.”
At 45, the 2003 champion is the elder statesman of the Cup Series. He’s closer to the end of his driving career than he is to the beginning, and rookie Erik Jones, who drove for Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing in the Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series, is spending the 2017 season at Furniture Row Racing. Oh, and Kenseth and the team haven’t announced an extension to his contract that runs through the end of the season.
In other words, Kenseth’s situation is ripe for the theorizing. And given his slow start to 2017, it’s an even easier target.
But there’s absolutely no need to not take Kenseth at his word. The 2017 season is just seven races old and the long-term plans for Joe Gibbs Racing were undoubtedly toggled after the surprise departure of Carl Edwards in January. Kenseth still has races to win and is going to be a member of the 2017 playoffs. Let’s worry about the present for a bit longer.
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