By Jerry Bonkowski
Matt Kenseth is heading somewhere after this season – rumored to most likely be Joe Gibbs Racing – although no official announcement has been made yet.
I get that.
But what I don't get – and I'm betting there's a lot of people wondering the same thing – why would Roush Fenway Racing make the announcement at this time?
Kenseth is the Sprint Cup Series points leader. He's having one of his best seasons ever. He's been a picture of consistency and competitiveness.
So why, with 20 races left to go – more than a half-season and a potential second Cup championship to be won – did Roush Fenway Racing announce Tuesday that it will be parting ways with Kenseth at season's end?
I don't get that.
Sure, it's understandable that the other part of Tuesday's major announcement – naming Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to replace Kenseth for next season – was made early to maximize not only the potential of additional major sponsorship for the 2013 campaign, but also to start promoting and marketing Stenhouse as potentially the next likely Cup-star-to-be.
I get that.
Granted, Stenhouse is significantly younger than Kenseth, 24 to 40. He's a young up and coming star in waiting. He's also become a very talented driver in a very short time. To win a Nationwide Series championship, even with Cup drivers that compete in that series no longer being eligible to compete for the title, is still a significant achievement. Without question, and with no disrespect to his future RFR Cup teammates Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards, Stenhouse is a significant part of RFR's future.
I get that, too.
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