Matt Kenseth jumps out of retirement to join Chip Ganassi Racing
Two weeks ago, Kyle Larson was one of the hottest drivers on the NASCAR circuit. He was set to become a free agent or renew a contract with Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of 2020.
However, things took a turn two weeks ago.
While in a digital racing event on iRacing, Larson dropped the n-word. He was attempting to reach out to his personal spotter on a private channel. Instead, the word was broadcast live across the public channel.
Within 24 hours, Larson was suspended by both NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing. Within 48 hours, Larson lost his ride with Chip Ganassi Racing.
NASCAR is currently postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, the series is scheduled to resume mid-May. The No. 42 machine would need a new driver in a hurry.
Given the timing, most NASCAR drivers are already locked into rides and contracts for 2020. Chip Ganassi Racing has gone outside the box to find a replacement…
Chip Ganassi on hiring Matt Kenseth
“I have always said that when we have to fill a driver spot, that I owe it to our team, our partners and our fans to put the best available driver in the car,” Chip Ganassi Racing said in a team releases.
“We are doing exactly that with Matt. Throughout my time in NASCAR, I have always admired the way Matt Kenseth raced. He has proven to be a consistent winner, strong competitor, and respectful driver.”
“I’m glad we are able to add another NASCAR champion to the team for the remainder of this season,” Ganassi added.
Matt Kenseth comments on the ride with Chip Ganassi Racing
Matt Kenseth is the 2003 NASCAR Cup Series champion. As of 2 yesterday, he was in retirement.
“This was an unexpected opportunity for sure. I can’t say racing was even on my radar two weeks ago,” Matt Kenseth said.
“After spending some time thinking about it and all the unique circumstances surrounding all of us right now, it just seemed the timing and the opportunity was perfect to come back. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me to get up to speed in a relatively short period of time, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
“I’m excited to work with Kurt again and to meet all my new CGR team members, and I’m really looking forward to getting back in a Chevrolet.”
“In 1988, I started my career in a Camaro and I can’t wait to finally race a Chevy in the Cup Series. I also need to thank Chip and all his partners for this opportunity. Hopefully we will be on the track soon,” Kenseth concluded.
Kenseth ran full-time between 2000-2017 in the NASCAR Cup Series. He briefly came out of retirement to run a handful of races for Roush Fenway Racing in 2018 he finished 6th in his most recent event at Homestead.
The now 48-year-old drivers has collected 39 wins and 328 top-10s over 665 races in the NASCAR Cup Series.