Tha Sports Junkies 101

Kenseth’s Final Ride – Saying Goodbye To Friends And Fans

Photo by Emily via Flickr


Kenseth visits the year 2000 for his likely final NASCAR race at Homestead

When Matt Kenseth steps into the #20 Toyota and out on the grid for the final time at Homestead Miami Speedway, you bet there will be handshakes, hugs and heartfelt moments.

And this weekend Kenseth will be sporting his 2000 #17 paint scheme of his rookie year.

Kenseth is not the only one saying goodbye at Homestead. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be also showing off his retro paint scheme from the same era.

Matt competed for Roush Fenway racing that year, and won Rookie of The Year in a car sponsored by DeWalt.

The Cambridge, Wisconsin native debuted in 1998 and has racked up 1 win and 2 poles in his 2017 season.

Kenseth has eluded to the fact that he may take off a month, a year or more, but has not mentioned the “R” word.

DNF’s have not been friendly to the #20 Toyota this year, with a total of 6.


Many sponsors both large and small have believed in the 45 year old NASCAR driver. His major sponsor, DeWalt, started with Kenseth back in 2003.

Crown Royal picked up primary sponsorship in 2010, and in April of 2011 Kenseth snapped a 76 race winless streak to earn his new sponsor a Texas sized win.

In 2012 Matt won the Gatorade Duel during Daytona Speedweeks, as well as the Daytona 500, closing the chapter on his Roush Fenway Racing career.

Dollar General stepped in to become primary sponsor in 2013, and the 20 car picked up 7 wins.


In 2013, Kenseth was paired up with now crew chief Jason Ratcliffe. The two came together to take the #20 Toyota qualify for the Chase For The Sprint Cup, his 10th time doing this in 11 seasons.

Ratcliffe holds the same tenure with Kenseth as Joey Logano and Todd Gordon do, 5 years working together.

Before then, Kenseth was paired up with crew chief Drew Blickensderfer in 2010, followed by Todd Parrott and Jimmy Fennig.


Kenseth enters his last Homestead-Miami race coming off his 39th career win at Phoenix. One of his biggest supporters, Dale Earnhardt Jr, said that he’ll miss being neighbors with Kenseth in the motor home lot.

“We did a lot of things, together. We supported each other and enjoyed seeing each other have success.  Since the very beginning have always been at most race tracks, probably 80 or 90 percent of them we have been neighbors in the bus lot.”

The 2018 season is up in the air for Kenseth, as it is for a lot of other drivers like Danica Patrick, Kurt Busch, Michael McDowell, and Landon Cassill.

Kenseth’s cup career will end at the finish of the Ford Ecoboost 400 this Sunday, 2:30 on NBCSN. As Kenseth told his buddy Dale Jr after his Phoenix win, it was “one for the old guys.”

If you liked the post on this page, you can donate to support a continuous effort from our creative writers.

You’re small donation will make a difference. You can learn more about this writer below:

As a 50 year old, I got my start late in life.

In 2011, I got the opportunity to work for a small radio station producing “The Open Mike Show”

Giving up my Monday nights was tough, and I realized that writing was more flexible.

I soon wrote for my local newspaper submitting NASCAR articles and loved it.

I turned my love of writing into a full time hobby writing for TSJ Sports.

Buy Me a Coffee at