Matt Kenseth Departing From Roush Fenway Was The First Domino To Fall

By Christy Valdez
Matt Kenseth

Matt Kenseth was the first driver in the series of NASCAR drivers to land new jobs in 2013.

With the announcement earlier in the 2012 season, Matt Kenseth announced his departure from Roush Fenway Racing, the team he has been with since his Cup Series debut in 2000. After more than 12 years with the team he won the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, Kenseth decided to take a new direction in his career by joining a new team.

On Tuesday, Kenseth and Joe Gibbs Racing confirmed the new deal that would feature Kenseth in the No.20 car in 2013. Before Kenseth made the news official several drivers began to land in new jobs like dominos falling into place one after another. Soon after Kenseth announced his decision, Roush Fenway Racing announced one of their own.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. currently drives for RFR in the Nationwide Series as the reigning Nationwide champion. With the latest news surrounding his RFR teammate, a new opportunity became available for Stenhouse. The 2013 NASCAR season will provide Stenhouse with a new job, moving up to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and replacing Kenseth in the No.17 car. Stenhouse will finish off the 2012 Nationwide season, his final in the series since he will declare cup points next year.

For Trevor Bayne his 2012 Nationwide season was cut short after funding for his No.60 car was not found. Although Bayne drives for the Wood Brothers in the Cup Series, he has not been able to race for a championship in either series this year. With the move around in RFR, a new opportunity opened up for Bayne. In 2013 Bayne will have the opportunity to race in the No.6 car for the Nationwide title.

Joey Logano‘s season began with it being his fourth season with JGR, and the fourth of his career in the cup series. The 2012 season featured Logano breaking the track record at Pocono and the win at the Tricky Triangle in June. JGR hoped to resign him but with rumors of Kenseth going to JGR put Logano’s future with JGR in question.With AJ Allmendinger’s suspension and after Penske Racing parted ways with Allmendinger, a new opportunity arose for Logano.

After Penske made the decision of having Sam Hornish Jr. drive the No.22 car for the remainder of the season, Hornsih became a candidate as the driver of the 22. At the Bristol race weekend in August Roger Penske mentioned that Logano was a candidate for the job. In the end Logano became the driver for the 22 in 2013. Hornish’s future plans have not been determined, either it would be in a third cup team or a another Nationwide season.

The dominos began to fall with the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, placing drivers in new cars. Meanwhile for a few their future is yet to be determined. As the season goes on more drivers could remain with their teams or land in new ones. Within all of NASCAR’s series the latest silly season is just beginning.

Follow Christy Valdez on Twitter @Knowursports and on Facebook at On The Sidelines With Christy

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