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'Deal done for 2013' says Kenseth

"There's not really a smoking gun, or not one reason," said Kenseth. "There wasn't a fight, there wasn't a blow-up, there wasn't a disagreement. There really wasn't any of that.

"I think up until a month or so ago, at least Jack and myself, we didn't really think we'd be in this spot. I think we both thought we were going to keep racing together," he continued. "That's not where we ended up. But I think we both have a pretty good understanding," he said, adding that telling Jack Roush that he was leaving the team was one of the hardest conversations that he had ever had in his life. "I have a great amount of respect for Jack. He's had a lot of respect for me over the years. He's been a great owner."

Instead, Kenseth said that the decision to jump had just come down to a matter of timing: "We got here in the middle of the season in a contract year, which I've never really had to experience before. Had an opportunity to go try something different next year, that I though was a really good opportunity for me and for my future," he said.

"I've been at Roush for a long time. I feel like everything happens for a reason, and the timing just worked out to where I had something else ready to try," he continued. "At the same time, Roush had an opportunity to move Ricky up to Cup, and they've been looking for a home for him for over a year."

Kenseth's place in the team will be taken by their young development driver and current Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., although there is no decision yet whether Stenhouse will drive the #17 that's been associated with Kenseth for 14 years or will instead revive the #6 car which the team ran up until the end of last year with David Ragan at the wheel. Stenhouse currently drives the #6 car in the Nationwide championship.

"The number is not something we have put much thought into, but it will be and we'll have a discussion in the coming weeks," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark.

Roush Fenway also has 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne on their books long-term, leaving Newmark to explain why Stenhouse got the nod for the Cup ride in preference. "Right now the important focus is on getting him into Cup, not that the number is not important."

"Ricky is completing his third full season in Nationwide, and we haven't even run Trevor one full season yet," said Newmark. "The goal for Trevor is to have him do exactly what Ricky is doing right now — run a full-time Nationwide program and challenge for the championship.

"It would be our hope and expectation to have him in that [#6 Nationwide] car next season," he added. And looking further beyond that, "We feel like both of them will be staples in the Cup Series for many years."




Related Pictures

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 Matt Kenseth celebrates winning his first ever Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway. [Picture Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Best Buy Ford, talks with crew chief Jimmy Fennig in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Roush Fenway team mates Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth talk in the garage ahead of the All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing) and David Ragan (Joe Gibbs Racing) spin out during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 AXE Chevrolet, goes through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 10, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, goes through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 10, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 STP Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 Ortho Ford, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 AdvoCare Ford, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 29, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Fastenal Ford, is involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 29, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, is involved in an on-track incident in front of Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota, and Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, as Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Hormel/Menards Toyota, drives away during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, and Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Hormel/Menards Toyota, race into turn one during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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fritz - Unregistered

June 29, 2012 2:35 PM

Is it just me, or do Roush driver splits seem more abrupt or cold or graceless or something than driver splits elsewhere? Badmouthing Kurt Busch upon that split showed something, but i don't think to this day that the mark martin story has been told. It feels like showing up to work one day and finding the doors padlocked. Is that just me?



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