Is Matt Kenseth about to pull a Mark Martin?
Tuesday night on NASCAR America Dale Jarrett predicted Matt Kenseth would be racing in 2018. His prediction? The #41 Stewart Haas Racing Ford that is currently occupied by Kurt Busch. Well was occupied by Busch, he is technically a free agent now that the season has ended. Shoutout Lee Spencer.
For months SHR has said they want to re-sign Busch and have him back in the #41 car in 2018. However, they have done everything to suggest that he won’t be back in the car. Gene Haas as recently as Texas had no clue why Kurt hadn’t been re-signed yet. Maybe there is an internal struggle happening at SHR between Tony Stewart and Haas.
Adding Matt Kenseth into the mix would really elevate the team as a whole. Kenseth is one of the most well-respected drivers in the garage. Also, he can still wheel a race car with the best of them. Bring his talent and wit into the SHR team and by god you have a pretty likable team capable of 4 wins a season.
SHR is the only team going in the opposite direction of the rest of NASCAR. Instead of getting young like the other major teams, SHR has gone old. Kevin Harvick is 41, Clint Bowyer is 38, Aric Almirola is 33 and Kurt Busch is 39. Matt Kenseth is 45, not the guy you can build a future around but certainly a guy to keep the seat warm until Cole Custer is ready to move up.
Back to Dale Jarrett’s prediction. If Dale is publicly saying this there has to be some smoke here. Kenseth isn’t ready to hang it up, he can still perform at a high level. Stewart Haas likely hasn’t been happy with Kurt Busch’s performance this season. Perhaps moving Kenseth into the #41 is the most logical option. He said he’s open to the option too. Like David West, he’s willing to bounce around until he gets that ring (again).
If Kenseth does come back he is really following the Mark Martin plan. Way back in 2005 Mark Martin announced the “Salute To You” tour in what would be his final full-time season of Cup racing. He did step back for 2 seasons before returning full time in 2009. He even doubled down with Rusty Wallace who was on his own retirement tour. Fox gave the two drivers rocking chairs to kick back in. Then Mark was like, heeeyyyyy I was just kidding. Kenseth did the photo with Dale Jr. it’s no rocking chair but you get the point. Mark never gave back that chair either. Rude.
Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin are the same guys. Put your money on Matt being on the grid for the Daytona 500 in a Ford.
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