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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Matt Kenseth
Chase Elliott won the Series Finale 500 at Phoenix to take home the championship and the trophy, as the remaining top three drivers left in the championship fight finished the race second, third and fourth.
With a win at Phoenix earlier this year and the most time to prepare for the weekend, Joey Logano believes he’s the favorite to win the championship.
Mark Taylor previews this week's NASCAR championship race at Phoenix where Chase Elliott hopes to ride the momentum to a title.
For Kyle Busch, waiting extra days for a break in the weather was worth it, as he won the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 and snapped a 33-race winless streak.
Mark Taylor previews this week's NASCAR race at the Martinsville paperclip as the Round of 8 closes in the Chase for the Cup.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Raced a part-time schedule for Roush Fenway Racing in 2018. It looks like Kenseth's active NASCAR career may well be over in 2019. He is largely retired at this point of his career.
At the conclusion of the 2017 season, Kenseth raced his last lap in the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Although it was a somewhat disappointing season (one win and 18 Top-10 finishes) he still finished a respectable seventh in the final driver standings, due in large part to the Chase format. The veteran driver did not renew his contract with Gibbs and is currently a free agent driver. Kenseth insists that he still wants to race, but he wants to race for a good team and at a highly competitive level. All indications from his past few seasons of performance are that he can still win races and challenge for championships. However, those opportunities with high quality teams are few. It would seem that Kenseth is looking at the prospect of sitting out the 2018 season, and hopefully finding a ride for 2019. We would place those odds as very slim, and we may have very well seen the last NASCAR laps of Kenseth's career this past November at Homestead.
Kenseth was consistent last season, just not as excellent as he would have liked. The Joe Gibbs Racing star posted two victories, but he only came up with eight Top-5 and 19 Top-10 finishes when all was said and done. The veteran driver was good enough at the end of the season to post a fifth-place finish in the standings, but it really didn't reflect the lack of speed that the No. 20 team suffered most of the season. Kenseth has the potential to improve on these numbers in the upcoming season, but a number of variables will have to fall into place. He and crew chief Jason Ratcliff are going to have to work hard to get more speed and better handling out of their cars, and at that point some momentum and consistency can develop. A return to 2015 numbers (five wins and 12 Top-5 finishes) is possible but will demand a lot of work.
Kenseth's failure to advance in the Chase and dust-up with Joey Logano in the stretch run sums up what was a frustrating end to last season for the Joe Gibbs Racing star. Despite late-season wins at Richmond and Loudon, the driver of the No. 20 Toyota would be sitting on the sidelines in more ways than one over the last few races. The short offseason will give Kenseth a chance to hit the reset button for 2016. The good news is that he still won five races and picked up 20 top 10s last year, despite his poor end to the campaign. Those numbers are pretty consistent with where the veteran driver has been statistically since joining Joe Gibbs Racing. There's no good reason to expect a falloff in production this year for the 16-season vet.
The newest Joe Gibbs Racing driver left behind a 15-year career with Roush Fenway Racing to become the new face in this Toyota super stable. Kenseth won a championship and 24 victories with his former boss Jack Roush. Now he gets an all new start in the sport with a new owner, team and manufacturer. Kenseth will be paired with crew chief Jason Ratcliff at the No. 20 team and the two should form chemistry right away. Ratcliff guided Kyle Busch to the Nationwide Series championship in 2009 and has 13 seasons of crew chief experience at NASCAR’s top level. The 40-year-old driver will have to make some adjustments to his new team, but should be off and rolling soon enough. Kenseth has multi-win potential and can clearly be a championship contender when the conditions are right.
No other Roush driver was hotter than Kenseth down the strectch of last season. He made a charge to make the Chase for the Cup last season, and alerted everyone that he will be a contender for the championship in 2006.
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Runner-up Finish at Indianapolis
Kenseth finished second in the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon.
10th-Place in NASCAR Return
Kenseth finished 10th in Sunday's The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway.