Kenseth comes out of retirement to race again in NASCAR in 2020

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Chip Ganassi Racing has announced their replacement for Kyle Larson. Matt Kenseth is coming out of retirement to race the No. 42 car for the rest of the NASCAR Cup Series season.

Kenseth replaces Larson, who was fired two days after using a racial slur on Easter Sunday during an iRacing event. Landon Cassill, a NASCAR Cup Series driver, hosted the iRacing event when Larson used the n-word.

Former NASCAR Cup Series driver Matt Kenseth celebrates in victory lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 race
Matt Kenseth celebrates in victory lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 race (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Once the news got out and went viral, companies either terminated their relationship with Larson. Or suspended their relationship with him.

This left Chip Ganassi Racing with no choice, but to fire Larson. Kenseth last competed in a full-time season during the 2017 season.

During the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season, he competed in 15 out of the 36 races. He had two Top 10 finishes, which came in the final two races of that season when he finished seventh in the Can-Am 500 on November 11th, 2018 at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Arizona.

Then, in the season finale, he finished sixth in the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18th, 2018 in Homestead, Florida.

Now, Kenseth is coming back to compete for Chip Ganassi Racing for the first-time when NASCAR returns following the global coronavirus pandemic. He has previously driven for Joe Gibbs Racing, Jack Roush, and Bill Elliott, who he competed for in 1998 at Dover.

“This was an unexpected opportunity for sure,” Kenseth said about joining Chip Ganassi Racing. “I can’t say racing was even on my radar two weeks ago. After spending some time thinking about 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 [Busch] again and to meet all my new CGR team members, and I’m really looking forward to getting back in a Chevrolet. In 1998, 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.”

In his NASCAR Cup Series career, Kenseth has appeared in 665 races. He has 39 career wins with his last win coming during the 2017 season in the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, November 12, 2017.

He also has 181 Top 5 finishes and 329 Top 10 finishes. Twenty times he has began a race from the pole.  

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