Ganassi Tabs Kenseth As Larson’s Replacement In No. 42 Chevrolet

INDIANAPOLIS — For the second time in the last three years, Matt Kenseth is back. The Wisconsin native was announced on Tuesday as the replacement driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing. This ride became available 13 days ago when Ganassi had no other choice but to fire Kyle Larson for the use of a racial slur during a video game race on Easter night.

Many thought that Ross Chastain would get the nod for the remainder of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season but in a shocking development, Ganassi announced that it would be Kenseth’s ride now instead.

Kenseth, 48, would have been in the newest nominee category for the next NASCAR Hall of Fame Class but due to him coming out of retirement in 2018 to sub for Trevor Bayne in the No. 6 Ford for 15 races at Roush Fenway Racing, his eligibility status had to wait another year. Now, it’s going to have to get pushed back at least another season because Kenseth will make a return.

Kenseth, spent his first 13 seasons in NASCAR’s premiere series with RFR before moving over to Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2013 season. He’d remain there until the end of 2017 but made that shocking return in May of 2018. In just five seasons in the No. 20 Toyota for JGR, Kenseth won 15 of his 39 career Cup victories.

His last race was at Homestead in 2018 when he finished sixth. That was his second straight top 10 finish to close out that season before handing the ride over to Ryan Newman for 2019.

Now, he will return whenever NASCAR does, all likelihood next month, to make his 666th career start. He’s a former Cup champion (2003), a two-time Daytona 500 champion (2009, 2012), a Coca-Cola 600 winner (2000), a Southern 500 winner (2013) and Rookie of the Year in 2000.

The veteran presence of him and Kurt Busch for the rest of 2020 should give Ganassi a ton of good feedback for the future. CGR will apply for a waiver to make Kenseth championship eligible should he move into the top 30 of points and win a race. Kenseth, only missed four races in 2020 and is just 33 points out of 30th in the points standings.

With this being a veteran team, CGR would likely look to get much younger soon. Chastain would be a top candidate to move up soon still.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s