Kenseth Doesn’t Expect JGR to be an Option Next Season

SPARTA, Ky. — Matt Kenseth’s announcement that he doesn’t expect to return to Joe Gibbs Racing next season set off the 2017 silly season domino chain.

It wasn’t a case of giving a vague answer that could be misinterpreted. He outright said he doesn’t think returning to JGR next season is an option.

“I don’t think so. I don’t think it is (an option). Like I said, I don’t have a ride at this moment for next year. I haven’t worked on anything real hard, but I don’t think I will have the option to race at JGR next season, unfortunately,” he said.


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Compounding the dilemma for the 2003 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion is that he doesn’t have a ride for next season. While his name has been brought up a time or two in the discussion on drivers to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Chevrolet, it’s important to note Hendrick Motorsports already has two young drivers, Alex Bowman and William Byron, waiting in the pipeline.

With the wave of young drivers rising up through the NASCAR ranks in the last few seasons, it would appear Kenseth’s days are numbered, especially with rides hard to come by. But at the end of the day, he’s not panicking yet.

“I’m not really worried about it,” he added. “As of today, I do not have a job for next year. So I certainly hope to still be racing next year. I think I got some wins left in me and, hopefully, I can race for championships. But right now, my focus is finishing up this year. As we talked about, it’s been kind of a slow start. Has not been a good year, at all. Not nearly up to my standards or my teams’ standards. So trying to get back to victory lane and, hopefully, get qualified for the playoffs here and have a shot at the playoffs is pretty much my focus at this point.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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