Matt Kenseth returns! Reports are out that the 2003 champion will return to Roush Fenway Racing to drive the number six car on a part-time it will re-unite him with the organization where he enjoyed his greatest successes before moving on to Joe Gibbs Racing.
While he wasn’t exactly knocking it dead in 2017, it would have been a stretch to say Matt Kenseth was washing up. His release from JGR was nothing more than a means for opening up a ride for Erik Jones, a young driver with greater potential for drawing sponsors targeting the youth market. It was just business.
Kenseth will apparently share his new ride with Trevor Bayne. No one likes Bayne more than this fan, but it just hasn’t been happening for the winner of the 2011 Daytona 500. To be fair, RFR teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hasn’t exactly lit it up this season either.
This move give Roush Fenway some leadership and expertise. If Matt Kenseth can win it, the it’s more about your car than it is your driver. Though not the most vocal man in the garage, he has a presence about him, reminiscent of Mark Martin, a leader at Roush during Kenseth’s early career.
Not only is Matt Kenseth not really all that old at 46, it hasn’t been long since his last race. You don’t forget how to win overnight. The inference in all that’s been released so far is that this is a part-time gig, so he’ll still have a certain amount of his newfound freedom.
How long will it last? How productive will it be? There’s no way of knowing. Roush lost their status as the flagship team for Ford years ago. They’re not even the SECOND best Blue Oval team now. All you can do if you’re the Cat In The Hat is take a chance and see where it leads. It’s a pretty low risk proposition.
Do you get the feeling we’re watching another Mark Martin story unfold? The circumstances and the driver are different. One just wonders where the road could lead if Matt Kenseth is successful.