Found March 10, 2013 on
As the World Turns (Left):
The dichotomy between Joe Gibbs and the drivers he’s hired has always been noteworthy.
Other than the wheel-turner he started in NASCAR with, 2000 Cup champ Bobby Labonte, his choices have always been young (Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin), or petulant (Tony Stewart), or some combination of the two (Kyle Busch).
Over the years I’ve both questioned why Gibbs hires drivers who don’t follow his squeaky-clean mantra, and marveled how he’s been able to work with guys who don’t seem like a good fit.
But I’ve always wondered why Gibbs, the Super Bowl champion coach, for years hasn’t had somebody who was more an extension of himself on the track. That’s what football coaches often look for in a quarterback, yet that experienced, even-keeled leader has been absent.
Until now. And boy, what great timing!
Busch seems to already be simmering a bit over a rough 2013 start, and Hamlin, whether right or wrong, is now glued to the seat of NASCAR’s cross hairs over his Gen-6 car comments. Throw in the seemingly perpetual Joe Gibbs Racing/Toyota Racing Development engine-building partnership growing pains, and there’s just a lot of reasons why it’s a good time to have one of the sport’s most solid guys on the roster.
Kenseth is the type who will do a lot more than win races, like Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400. He’ll step up his performance exactly when his team and organization needs it. When Roush Fenway Racing experienced sponsorship woes in 2011 and threw together short-term deals for Kenseth with every eye wear and toilet parts company they could get their hands on, he didn’t flinch. He put the eye wear company and the toilet parts company in Victory Lane, even as he wore Crown Royale gear because there wasn’t enough time to get him a uniform to match his car.
It was a pretty rag-tag look for a bona fide NASCAR superstar, and a problem Kenseth won’t have with Gibbs. That team is so awash with sponsorship that Kenseth is also getting 15 rides in the Nationwide Series, something he sorely missed.
The Kenseth/Gibbs partnership looked perfect on paper — the stable, middle-aged driver who would never have his owner worrying about the BS, and the golden-touch-with-sponsors owner who would never have his driver worrying about the bills.
On Sunday, Kenseth’s 41st birthday and only the third race of the new pact, it looked even better on the track.
Follow Josh Stewart on Twitter @JoshNASCARWWE
BEST OF MAXIM
Matt Kenseth won Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kasey Kahne was second, followed by Brad Keselowski.
In winning the race Kenseth picked up his first win as a member of Joe Gibbs Racing and became the third driver to win on his birthday, he turned 41 on Sunday.
Keselowski was on the pole, but not due to speed. Qualifying was rained...
Kenseth takes new team to Victory Lane in Vegas.
Who says you can't start over at 41?
Matt Kenseth proved that it's absolutely possible as he celebrated his birthday on Sunday with his first win behind the wheel of the No. 20 Toyota, in just his third start with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Kenseth, who earned his third career Sprint Cup victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with the win, was uncharacteristically high strung in the...
Matt Kenseth celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 10, 2013. Photo taken by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
Happy Birthday, Matt Kenseth!
Matt Kenseth, who opted for fuel only on the last pit stop, was able to hold off a charging Kasey Kahne to win Sunday afternoon’s Kobalt Tools 400 from Las Vegas...
Talk about your happy birthdays...Most folks prefer not to work on their birthdays, but NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth didn't seem to mind on Sunday in Las Vegas especially after a late charge got him the win.
Kasey Kahne had ruled the field for most of the day leading a race-high 114 laps, but Kenseth was able to take the lead coming off of pit road with 41 laps to go....
The Kobalt Tools 400 was run on Sunday. After 267 laps it was the No. 20 car of Matt Kenseth crossing the line first. The win was the first for Kenseth since moving to Joe Gibbs Racing and in doing so he became the third driver to win on his birthday.
Relieve the race with these photos and the final laps of the race.
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Kenseth wins at Las Vegas, Full Results
The biggest name in NASCAR's 2012 version of Silly Season made his presence known early in the 2013 season. Matt Kenseth, in only his third start...
Matt Kenseth gambles and wins big in Las Vegas.
photo credit: getty images
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Matt Kenseth gave himself a birthday gift Sunday in Las Vegas. Kenseth held off Kasey Kahne in a 26-lap green-flag run to snag the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The win marked the 25th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. Kenseth, who turned 41 Sunday, became the third driver in series history to win on his birthday...
Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
By: Toby Christie – Follow on Twitter @Tobalical
Heading into the third race of the season, many of NASCAR’s biggest names were in serious trouble in the Sprint Cup Series point standings. Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne and numerous others were mired back in the mid 20s and 30s in the rankings, and with one week left until qualifying was set...
In a sport full of “bad boys” three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart has crafted and cultivated an enduring image as the “baddest boy” in NASCAR.
Stewart’s cocksure personality and unique driving style characterized by equal parts audacity and bravado, is a perfect fit for the audacious and wild motor sport that he has dominated for the past 15 years.
Jack Payton is...
Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 was the season's first 1.5-mile oval race of the season. As expected, the top teams looked competitive. Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Penske Racing made their presences felt. Those names could be indicative of who will be charging hard for the championship since so much of the schedule is made up of these types of tracks.