Start ‘N’ Park Blog is taking a look back at the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver by driver. This recap will take a look at the driver’s stats, the season’s highlights, the season’s lowlights, what a quick look at next year. This installment takes a look back at Matt Kenseth who finished in the 7th place in the final standings.
Preseason Pick: 5th
Top 5s: 13
Top 10s: 19
What Was Said Prior To The Season:
“Matt Kenseth is a driver who has flown under the radar a lot the past few years. Last year he was outshine at Roush-Fenway Racing by Carl Edwards, this year, well, it might be the same. Edwards has been anointed the face of the organization, a position that Kenseth had inherited after Jeff Burton left. I think that shift plays into Kenseth’s favor, but he’s got four more drivers to eclipse to get back to top of the mountain. Like Johnson before him, it wouldn’t shock me if he’s higher, I’m just not sold. Oh and again I ask, how does he not have full sponsorship for 2012 yet?”
What Happened In 2012:
Kenseth won the Daytona 500 to start the season, and that didn’t even help out his sponsorship situation. It was a very weird season for Kenseth, with not being able to find sponsorship, he was first for sixth straight races in the middle of the season, but then announced he would leave Roush Fenway Racing after the season. The team didn’t give up on their driver, and neither did Kenseth on the team. They pulled off two wins in the Chase and helped put the team in the right direct for their new driver, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
On To 2013:
Kenseth was actually nervous for the first time testing for Joe Gibbs Racing at Charlotte. That’s a lot coming from Kenseth, who usually has a cool demeanor. Expectations will be high for himself and that team to prove that they can be championship contenders, something they haven’t don’t since Tony Stewart left after 2008. Kenseth will certainly deliver for the team and it will be interesting to see how he mixes with teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.