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 Post subject: Matt Kenseth Leaving Roush Fenway Racing
PostPosted: June 26th, 2012, 3:49 pm 
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Seems there was some substance to those rumours I posted a while back :(

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NASCAR Silly Season blew into town Tuesday with the force of a hurricane.

In one of the biggest driver-team moves in recent NASCAR history, Roush Fenway Racing announced Tuesday that Matt Kenseth, one of the team’s bedrock drivers, will be leaving the organization at the end of the season.

Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will move up to replace Kenseth at the Sprint Cup level next season.

There was immediate speculation that Kenseth, who has 22 Cup wins and a championship, will be joining Joe Gibbs Racing next season, either in the No. 20 car currently driven by Joey Logano or with a fourth team (joining Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin).

There was no immediate comment from the Gibbs camp Tuesday, and Kenseth tweeted this late Tuesday morning: “Although I have nothing to announce regarding 2013, I feel the timing of this announcement gives RFR ample time to get things lined up.”

The Tuesday moves are stunning because Kenseth, 40, has been with RFR since his rookie season in 2000 (and ran five races with the team in 1999) and was widely expected to finish his career with the team. He also currently leads the Sprint Cup points in pursuit of a second championship.

“I’d like to thank Matt Kenseth for his many years of loyal service,” team owner Jack Roush said in a statement released Tuesday morning. “Matt has been an integral part of this organization for well over a decade, and we are extremely appreciative of his accomplishments and contributions to the team, and will always consider him a part of the Roush Fenway family.

“We’re fortunate that we were able to tap into Matt’s potential and bring him on board many years ago, and I’m proud that together we were able to combine the tools and the resources of Roush Fenway with his talent and determination to forge a partnership that yielded a championship at the Cup level and all of his 22 Cup victories, including two Daytona 500 wins. The No. 17 is positioned extremely well this season, and I’m committed to providing the team the best resources to continue their run for the 2012 championship. I have no doubt that Matt will do his part.”

Although it seems odd that Kenseth would decide to leave RFR while leading the Sprint Cup points, the organization has had more than its share of sponsorship problems recently, and that might have played a role in Kenseth’s decision.

Can he still win the title as a lame duck?

“If Tony Stewart can win title, so can I,” Kenseth tweeted Tuesday afternoon, referring to Stewart winning the 2011 championship while racing with lame-duck crew chief Darian Grubb.

Ford Racing director Jamie Allison said Ford officials “are certainly disappointed to hear that Matt will be leaving, and he will be certainly missed by us and the Ford Racing fans. We are thankful for Matt's winning efforts and championship-caliber success with the Roush and Ford racing programs … both on and off the track. We will focus on this year and look forward to more success on the track in his No. 17 Ford Fusion this season."

Stenhouse Jr. competes full-time in the Nationwide Series for Roush and has been a driver-in-waiting for the Cup series. His promotion could open the way for RFR driver Trevor Bayne to run full-time in Nationwide next season.

“We take great pride in the depth of the bench here,” said RFR president Steve Newmark. “The organization’s ability to identify and develop new talent is part of our DNA and a cornerstone of our success. I’m excited about the opportunity to bring Ricky into the Sprint Cup Series and get him into victory lane. He has an incredible opportunity to continue his winning ways, just as Matt did nearly 15 years ago.”


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Kenseth Leaving Roush Fenway Racing
PostPosted: June 26th, 2012, 4:07 pm 
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Items for sale:

1 twill DeWALT jacket
1 twill Crown Royal jacket
2 DeWALT windbreakers
25+ Number 17 ball caps with either DeWALT, Crown Royal or Best Buy logos (I'm keeping the autographed ones, though)
20+ T-shirts featuring #17 and/or Ford and/or Kenseth and/or DeWALT and/or Crown Royal and/or Best Buy
a variety of die cast #17 cars

Oops, wrong section of the board :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Kenseth Leaving Roush Fenway Racing
PostPosted: June 27th, 2012, 7:56 am 
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Nothing a little whiteout and a sharpie can't fix :)

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 Post subject: Re: Matt Kenseth Leaving Roush Fenway Racing
PostPosted: June 27th, 2012, 7:58 am 
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Do they make an orange Sharpie? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Matt Kenseth Leaving Roush Fenway Racing
PostPosted: June 27th, 2012, 10:12 am 
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Is it confirmed he's going to JGR? I was reading that it was just rumors of one possible place he might end up.

I imagine he has something concrete lined up if he put his notice in. Probably waiting for whoever he's replacing to get their walking papers before they announce it.

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 Post subject: Re: Matt Kenseth Leaving Roush Fenway Racing
PostPosted: June 27th, 2012, 10:42 am 
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frdalton wrote:
Is it confirmed he's going to JGR? I was reading that it was just rumors of one possible place he might end up.

Nothing confirmed as yet, but JGR is the only team that has indicated that they are seriously considering adding a 4th team (said that last weekend in Sonoma). Even though JGR has said that Joey will "likely" be back with the team next year, word is that Home Depot wants a proven winner so it could be Joey going to the 4th team while Kenseth slips into the #20. Also Joe Gibbs was seen by several reporters briefly wearing a Green Bay Packers ballcap at Sonoma (and I don't think that means that Joe is giving up his strong allegiance to the Washington Redskins :lol: ). Statements by Ford officials indicate that Matt won't be driving a Ford next year, so that nixes Penske and RPM (or even Front Row). RCR has no open spots (unless Jeff Burton's contract is bought out). HMS obviously has nothing open. There is a remote possibility that it could be SHR since Newman is not re-signed for next year and Matt & Tony are good friends ... trouble is that the #39 has no sponsor for next year (yet) and I doubt Kenseth would want back into a situation like that.

The only other possibility is that Dodge is desperately trying to find a team willing to run Dodge next year (with Penske leaving the fold). There is some speculation that Kenseth would be the anchor driver (and possibly part owner) of either a new team or one switching allegiance to Dodge.

frdalton wrote:
I imagine he has something concrete lined up if he put his notice in. Probably waiting for whoever he's replacing to get their walking papers before they announce it.

Oh, Matt is way too smart to not have something concrete lined up. As recently as 2 or 3 weeks ago, he and Roush were apparently very close to signing an extension ... something dramatically happened to change that. I think the other parties involved are just getting the i's dotted and t's crossed before any announcements are made.

Even though Kenseth going to JGR and the #20 seems the most logical at this point (and there are lots of indications this is what is happening), I'm not sure that would have been enough to get Matt to leave Roush (he is very loyal to the organization and to Jack). I want to believe the new rumours surfacing about the new Dodge team would be the kind of challenge that would have enticed Kenseth to leave Roush, because it also helps set up the next phase (ownership) of his life because at age 40, he doesn't have too many good driving years left.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Kenseth Leaving Roush Fenway Racing
PostPosted: June 27th, 2012, 10:08 pm 
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So sad to hear he is leaving. I got an e-mail from Wayne Gaudet [Roush employee] today. He said yesterday they called everybody into a room and laid the news on them. Most were shocked.
To let your Daytona winner and points leader go is one thing, but the possibility that he might become a team mate to Kyle Busch? - YUCK.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Kenseth Leaving Roush Fenway Racing
PostPosted: August 5th, 2012, 8:44 am 
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Wayne Gaudet dropped in to see me a week ago and shed some light on why Matt left. Roush was dragging his feet on discussing a new contract. I believe it. Same thing they done to Mark Martin a few years back.

So where is he going? Our great hope would be to the 22 car at Penske.
That way at least Matt would be still driving a Ford when Penshe switches.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Kenseth Leaving Roush Fenway Racing
PostPosted: August 5th, 2012, 11:08 am 
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I can't remember where, but I though I heard somewhere that he was leaving ford. That leaves Gibbs or one of the Chevy teams, (don't think Dodge has any teams lined up yet?)

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 Post subject: Re: Matt Kenseth Leaving Roush Fenway Racing
PostPosted: August 6th, 2012, 6:54 pm 
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frdalton wrote:
I can't remember where, but I though I heard somewhere that he was leaving ford. That leaves Gibbs or one of the Chevy teams, (don't think Dodge has any teams lined up yet?)

Yes, it was Jamie Allison, the director of Ford Racing, who said he was sad that Matt would not be driving a Ford.


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