Dale Earnhardt Jr and Matt Kenseth, NASCAR rookies together, now retiring together
In 2000, both Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr entered the NASCAR Cup Series full time. 17 years later, they will now be exiting the sport, on the same weekend.
They’re friends now. But, it took awhile to get to that point. Which to Jr’s admission, was his own doing.
“I wasn’t sure how to interact with my competitors,” Dale Earnhardt Jr states via the Dale Jr Download. “I looked at every competitor as an enemy. Didn’t wanna be friends with ’em. Didn’t know how to be friends with ’em.”
So you never thought you’d be riding bikes with Matt Kenseth?
“No. Much less friends.”
“It’s a friendship that I really appreciate. We’ve had a lot of good races together. It’s going to be interesting to see how he handles this last one.”
We’ll both be going through those emotions this weekend together.
-Dale Earnhardt Jr
“I guess we’ll both be going through those emotions this weekend together. Hopefully we got some time to spend talking about it. And enjoy this together. I would like to share these last few moments with Matt for sure.”
This weekend, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Matt Kenseth will be running their final NASCAR Cup Series race. Each of them are doing it in throwback paint scheme to their rookie cars.
“I knew about him running this rookie car several weeks ago. He asked me, he thought we should take a picture. So me and him are going to get a photo made sometime during the weekend. Which we be something me and him both appreciate having down the road.”
Matt Kenseth has run 649 races. He’s collected 39 wins placing him 20th on the all-time NASCAR wins list.
Related: Matt Kenseth talks 2018
Dale Earnhardt Jr has run 630 races. He’s visited victory lane 26 times. Dale Jr is 29th on the all-time wins list.