Out with the old and in with the new.
That seemed to be the message at Homestead Miami Speedway after Martin Truex Jr was able to out drive three former Cup Series champions to win his first Cup Series title. The championship was of course a little bitter sweet due to the emotional turmoil the team faced throughout the season including his longtime girlfriend battling cancer, a crew members death and several setbacks throughout the season.
Not only did that Cinderella story play out in front of NASCAR fans during championship weekend, they were also treated to the final chapter of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Matt Kenseths and Danica Patricks full time career. With that being said and the above mentioned theme of out with the old and in with the new, it goes without saying that 2017 was a bit of the changing of the guard in a way.
For example, Dale Earnhardt Jr, who raced in the Cup Series full time for 17 retired last week at Homestead Miami and gifted his ride to Xfinity Series driver, Alex Bowman. Kasey Kahne is also leaving Hendrick Motorsports in the off season, which opens the door for Xfinity Series champion, William Byron to take over his ride. Then there’s Danica Patrick, who also retired from full time racing this season,, and left her ride for former Coke Zero 400 winner Aric Almirola.
But then, there’s Kurt Busch and his ride at Stewart Haas Racing. While Tony Stewart and Busch have both expressed interest in resigning with each other, it is being said the ride is still vacant and Dale Jarrett predicts that Matt Kenseth will be the one to take the seat. Of course that’s just a prediction at this in point in time, but its easy to see that situation is viable.
For example, If Stewart Haas Racing can’t come to an agreement with Kurt Busch by the end of the off season, Matt Kenseth would be the perfect place gap until SHR is able to bring up someone from The Xfinity Series and he could also bring a lot of big money sponsors with him. Finally, Kenseth, who made the playoffs this year and won at Phoenix it November, would keep the team competitive in the meantime.
What are your thoughts? Should Matt Kenseth continue his career in The Cup Series by driving for Stewart Haas Racing or does Matt Kenseth need to hang it up and not look for a ride next year? If Kenseth does drive for SHR, will he be able to stay competitive and make the playoffs for what could be the final season of his career? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!