Newly crowned NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth is used to donning his race-day game face, but even he is likely to gain a new respect for speed following the 2003 Champion's Week.

The headliner of NASCAR's annual season-ending celebration, Kenseth and the #17 DeWalt Ford team will celebrate Roush Racing's first NASCAR Winston Cup Series title this week amid the glitz, glitter and holiday bustle of New York.

Celebrating in the Big Apple is a much-loved tradition - NASCAR has feted the champion of its premier series in New York since 1981, and this year's Champion's Week is packed with fun, festivities and appearances - quite enough to keep Kenseth racing about town.

He and wife Katie arrive this evening to kick off the week's activities. Officially, Kenseth's schedule begins with Monday visits to New York police and fire departments.
It includes several mid-week dinners, an official proclamation from New York mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday in Times Square, and even features a Tuesday jaunt down to Washington to visit the White House and meet President Bush.

There's also a full slate of photo shoots, guest appearances on top-rated national morning television shows and myriad media opportunities.

Kenseth is celebrating his first NASCAR Winston Cup title, as is his team owner Jack Roush. The 31-year old fourth-year NASCAR Winston Cup driver will culminate the 2003 Champion's Week by attending - and being the focus of - Friday evening's NASCAR Winston Cup Series Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Kenseth opens Champion's Week with early-morning appearances on The Today Show and Live with Regis & Kelly, before visiting the New York Fire Department's Ladder 17 and the New York Police Department's 17th Precinct on Monday afternoon.

Champion's Week can be a welcome whirlwind, but Kenseth won't go it alone. The rest of the NASCAR top ten and Raybestos Rookie of the Year Jamie McMurray will participate in many activities during the week, including Tuesday's White House reception with President Bush, and Friday's Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf. Each morning, a driver will appear on Live with Regis & Kelly, beginning with Kenseth on Monday, Jimmie Johnson on Tuesday, Jeff Gordon on Wednesday, Tony Stewart on Thursday and Kevin Harvick on Friday. McMurray - on Thursday - and NASCAR Busch Series champion Brian Vickers (Friday) will appear on ESPN's Cold Pizza morning show.


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