The driver, who currently isn’t with a team for 2018 has long been rumored as the replacement for NASCAR’s retiring Dale Earnhardt Jr. Now, he’s breaking his silence on all the rumors and explaining what’s on his docket for next year.
When Dale Jr. announced his retirement back in April, the entire NASCAR community was shocked at the abrupt decision, but it left one question on their minds: who would be taking his place in the Nationwide #88?
Over the course of the next few days and weeks, rumors began pointing to a former NASCAR Cup Series champion who was being replaced on his current team: Matt Kenseth. Newcomer Erik Jones is set to take over the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 this year with Kenseth on his way out.
Speaking openly with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Late Shift” show, Kenseth explained what he sees for his future in 2018 – and directly addressed the rumors for getting behind the wheel of Dale Jr.’s ride.
“I don’t feel like that’s going to be an opportunity I’m going to have,” Kenseth told the hosts in response to the rumors. “I really I don’t know. I really honestly don’t have anything lined up for sure. I will say that I’m not really that worried about it. I’m not really losing sleep over it. I’m not that concerned about next season.”
“It’s only July and there is a ton of racing left to do,” He continued. “Got a lot of things we still want to accomplish with the 20. It’s been a great four-and-a-half years, and I certainly want the last four or five months to be great as well.”
Right now, Kenseth is holding the final playoff spot with less than ten races left until playoffs begin, but his recent track record is sitting at 36 races without a win. It will be interesting to see how this season finishes out and what that means for his opportunities next season.
Listen to Kenseth’s full interview about it below and let us know what you think about him replacing Dale Jr. next year.