Former Cup champion Matt Kenseth can be amongst these inducted into the NASCAR Corridor of Fame on Friday (8 pm ET on Peacock).
Kenseth joins Hershel McGriff and Kirk Shelmerdine within the Corridor of Fame’s thirteenth class. The Corridor may have 61 members after Friday’s ceremony.
Kenseth, 50, can be among the many youthful inductees to the Corridor. His Cup profession started in 1998 and resulted in 2020. He scored 39 victories in 697 Cup begins and a championship.
Here’s a take a look at Kenseth’s profession by means of the years…
Kenseth’s first Cup begins as a fill-in for Corridor of Famer Invoice Elliott. Kenseth’s debut passed off Sept. 20, 1998, at what was then referred to as Dover Downs Worldwide Speedway. He drove Elliott’s No. 94 McDonald’s automobile to a sixth-place end. Elliott missed the race to attend his father’s funeral.
“It is a unhappy deal for Invoice and his household, however I am actual flattered they picked me to drive this automobile as a result of there are loads of good drivers right here,” Kenseth stated after qualifying Elliott’s automobile sixteenth.
The primary time Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. raced towards one another in NASCAR was April 19, 1997, at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Kenseth completed eleventh. Earnhardt was thirty ninth.
They each ran full-time in what was then the Busch Collection in 1998. Earnhardt received the collection title that 12 months. Kenseth was second. Earnhardt repeated as champion in 1999. Kenseth positioned third that 12 months.
They each moved to Cup in 2000. Earnhardt drove for his father’s staff, Dale Earnhardt Inc. Kenseth drove for Roush Racing. Kenseth received Rookie of the Yr honors.
Kenseth’s clean driving model and consistency, a trait many in comparison with Corridor of Famer David Pearson, led to the 2003 Cup title. Though Kenseth received solely eleven, he had 25 top-10 finishes in 36 races and was to date forward of the sector that he clinched the title with one race to go.
This was the final 12 months the champion was decided by a season-long factors whole. The Chase would debut in 2004 and morph into the playoff system used at this time.
Kenseth drove 5 Cup races for automobile proprietor Jack Roush in 1999 earlier than transferring to Cup full-time for the staff proprietor in 2000. Kenseth drove for Roush from 2000-12.
His teammates at Roush included Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch, amongst others. Kenseth scored 24 wins with the group.
Daytona 500 champion
Kenseth’s profession consists of two Daytona 500 victories. He received the 2009 rain-shortened race and received the 2012 race, main the ultimate 38 laps in that occasion.
Kenseth received the 2009 Daytona 500 after beginning thirty ninth. It marked the primary time Ford had received the occasion since 2000.
Kenseth’s 2012 victory got here in a race that was postponed to day and run beneath the lights at Daytona Worldwide Speedway. The race was delayed after a components failure brought on Juan Pablo Montoya to lose management of his automobile and hit a jet dryer beneath warning, sparking a fireplace on the observe. The race did not finish till after midnight, ending early Tuesday.
Kenseth moved to Joe Gibbs Racing earlier than the 2013 season. His debut season proved memorable. He received a career-high seven races, together with the evening race at Bristol.
Kenseth completed second within the season standings. Jimmie Johnson beat Kenseth by 19 factors for the championship. Kenseth would go on to win 15 Cup races at JGR.
One final Cup victory
Kenseth earned his thirty ninth and last Cup win within the 2017 playoff race at Phoenix Raceway, taking the lead with 10 laps to go.
“I do not know what to say however thank the Lord,” Kenseth advised NBC’s Rutledge Wooden after climbing out of his automobile on the frontstretch. “Simply acquired one race left. Everybody goals about going out to win. So, we received at this time, nobody goes to take that away from us.
Kenseth returned to Cup in 2018, operating 15 races within the No. 6 automobile for Roush Fenway Racing to assist the staff diagnose the struggles with that automobile. Kenseth sat out the 2019 season however was referred to as again to obligation in 2020, changing Kyle Larson after he was fired at Chip Ganassi Racing. Kenseth ran the ultimate 32 races of that season.