I’ve been speculating this would happen for a while now, but today it has been made official. Erik Jones will drive the #20 for Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2018 season and beyond. Unfortunately, this puts Matt Kenseth in an awkward position as he drives that car currently. Fortunately, Matt has stellar driving skills and interestingly enough, possibly the most wide variety of possibilities a free agent could want.
So let’s take a look at them!
#88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is retiring. His car is stable for sponsorship. This is also the idea everyone in actual NASCAR media has been talking about. I think Matt would be a good fit here, unless of course Mr. H decides to go with the upcoming driver William Byron, who’s superstar status at the Cup level has yet to be determined.
#5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Let’s face it. Kasey Kahne is not setting the world on fire in that car, and has not for quite some time. Perhaps Mr. H buys Kasey out of the rest of his contract and puts Matt in his original flagship car.
#10 Stewart Haas Racing Ford. (Yes, I couldn’t find a recent, free to use photo so I am aware that this is actually a picture of her Chevrolet car) Anyway, are Tony and Gene content with middle of the pack results from this car and its current driver Danica Patrick week after week? Putting Matt in that car might bring more sponsorship to the team and he does prove to get results in anything he drives. You can’t tell me they haven’t at least considered it as of late.
#27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. If the rumor on this one ends up being true, Paul Menard could be headed to Wood Brothers Racing to drive a Menards sponsored, Team Penske affiliated Ford to keep things lined up since Menards sponsors a Penske car in IndyCar as well. That would leave an opening here and Richard Childress certainly wouldn’t mind adding more tallent to his roster.
#77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota. You might ask why wasn’t this be further up the list? Yes it’s true these guys are Joe Gibbs Racing affiliated. However, they don’t know if they will run this team next season yet or not. If they do, Kenseth would be a good fit as he is already in the JGR information pipeline as it is.
There you have it. All the conspiracy theories I can think of right now for Matt Kenseth, besides retiring. He’s on my team, he can’t go yet! Fortunately, it looks like he wants to stick around for a while longer. He still has the talent, and should have no trouble finding a ride for next season. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.