NASCAR team owner Jack Roush told ESPN.com Friday that he was surprised that Matt Kenseth was leaving Roush Fenway Racing, and wished he would've done more to keep him.
RFR announced Tuesday that Kenseth would leave after the season and be replaced by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. -- the defending Nationwide Series champion -- in the No. 17 Ford in Sprint Cup.
"I will say I was surprised when I learned [Kenseth] would not be signing with us," Roush told reporters at Kentucky Speedway. "I won't comment on any of the negotiations because we have an agreement not to talk about that."
Roush offered that he probably could've done more to retain Kenseth, but didn't know Kenseth was serious about leaving.
"If I was as diligent on that end as I am about finding out why a fuel pump broke, I might have been able to stop it," Roush said. "From my standpoint, he'll be moving to the dark side. But the friendship part for us will survive. I've not lost respect for Matt and I hope he hasn't for me. I've enjoyed the 15 years with Matt and the success he's had as a driver. He's a cornerstone here and his DNA is all over this organization."