Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) announced today that he is going to Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) to drive the #20 Home Depot Toyota in 2013.
“Surprise” said Kenseth as he arrived at the conference.
“He does have a sense of humor” joked team owner Joe Gibbs.
Fans have been waiting for this announcement for months. Kenseth first mentioned he was leaving RFR in June, but didn’t give any details as to where he was going.
It was later found out that there was a clause in Kenseth’s contract that prevented him from speaking about a new contract until sometime in August.
When talks of Joey Logano not re-signing with JGR started in the mix, fans connected where Kenseth was going, but today’s announcement makes the highly anticipated move official.
Kenseth spent his whole NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career with Jack Roush and the RFR Team. He won 22 races with the organization at this point and was also the 2003 champion. Kenseth won the Daytona 500 opener this season and is locked into this years NSCS Chase which starts the weekend following Richmond at Chicagoland Speedway.
Jason Ratlcliff will be his crew chief. Sponsorship will be split between Home Depot and Dollar General just like it was with Logano. Kenseth is hoping to race in the Nationwide Series some in 2013 for JGR as well.
Official announcement will be posted below.
oe Gibbs Racing announces today that 2003 NASCAR Cup Series Champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner, Matt Kenseth, has signed with the team to drive the No. 20 Toyota Camry with sponsorship from Dollar General and The Home Depot starting in 2013.
“We are thrilled to be able to officially announce Matt will join Joe Gibbs Racing starting at the conclusion of this season,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “Everyone knows what he has accomplished in our sport as a champion and a consistent winner. He is well respected in the garage and his experience and knowledge will be extremely beneficial to our entire organization, especially Denny and Kyle.”
Kenseth is currently third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with a win, nine top-five and 14 top-ten finishes thus far this season. Over the course of his career he has won a total of 22 Cup races while earning 122 top-five and 223 top-ten finishes.
“I’m excited to announce what the next chapter in my career will be,” said Kenseth. “I remain totally committed to this season and working with my current team toward a championship and having this settled will only help my focus. JGR is an impressive organization with tremendous leadership and strong support from sponsors like Dollar General and The Home Depot. I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to move from one great situation into another starting in 2013.”
It’s been fun Matt, butnow I need to find a new driver! Just can’t root for Toyota.