Matt Kenseth not looking to leave NASCAR anytime soon

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Former champion Matt Kenseth says in an in-depth interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he hopes to race “another five or six years,” that there remains a little uncertainty in what’s acceptable and what isn’t in paying back a driver and that it was important to return for the season finale after being suspended two races.

Kenseth turns 44 in March and is among a growing group of drivers 40 years old and over. That group includes Greg Biffle (46 on Dec. 23), Tony Stewart (44), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (41), Jimmie Johnson (40), and Kevin Harvick, who turned 40 Tuesday.

Asked how much longer he’ll race, Kenseth said: “I realize more of my career is behind me than in front of me. But I really don’t feel like I’ve been declining at all physically or mentally. I feel like we’re running good. Leading laps, we’re winning races, sitting on poles. I don’t really feel that. Now, if you’re asking if I’ll be racing 10 years from now like Mark (Martin) was, then no, I don’t think I’ll race that long. But I certainly feel I’ve got enough in front of me that I’m not looking at the calendar and trying to pick a time I’m going to be done, that type of thing. I hope to race for another five or six years at least.”

Kenseth won five races and a career-high four poles this past season. Eighteen of his 36 career Cup victories have come in the past five seasons. He had 20 top-10 finishes and has had 19 or more top-10 finishes in each of the past five seasons.

Kenseth’s numbers could have been higher had NASCAR not suspended him two races for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano at Martinsville. Kenseth’s retaliation came in response to the contact they had at Kansas racing for the lead that spun Kenseth. At Martinsville, Kenseth’s car was damaged after contact with Logano’s teammate, Brad Keselowski. Kenseth returned to the race nine laps down and wrecked Logano after Logano lapped him.

NASCAR sat Kenseth for races at Texas and Phoenix.

“I still strongly disagree with the penalty,” Kenseth told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I think it’s really inconsistent with anything that’s ever happened in the past for a penalty. There’s still a little up in the air about what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable from my standpoint, honestly. Obviously it wasn’t very subtle. I could have been more subtle about it and tried to do it a different way if I felt like I needed to even the playing field. There’s always things you learn no matter what you go through in life, good and bad.”

Asked if there was some way to get the clarity he seeks on what’s acceptable in paying back a driver, Kenseth said: “I think that’s why they make penalties, is to tell everybody what’s unacceptable, which, don’t get me wrong, I knew I stepped over a line there. But I didn’t think I stepped over a line any more than Jeff Gordon had at Phoenix two years ago (wrecking Clint Bowyer). Probably less so. It was just me and one other guy. I didn’t have any other collateral damage. The situations really weren’t much different, and he didn’t get a suspension at all. Then I get a two-race suspension.”

Kenseth returned for the season finale at Homestead and finished seventh.

“I wanted to get back to the track and get back with your team and go back and go run a race and go do all those things before you go into the off-season and, like you say, try to get it behind us,” Kenseth said. “It was definitely good to be back.”

Kenseth also discussed his season overall, teammate Kyle Busch winning the title, son Ross’ racing career, plans during the winter and more in the interview.



Sunday Cup race at Circuit of the Americas: Start time, TV info, weather


Is this Toyota’s weekend?

Chevrolet won the first four races of the season. Ford won last weekend with Joey Logano at Atlanta. Is it Toyota’s turn to win its first Cup race of the season? Or does Chevrolet return to dominance?

Chevrolet drivers have won 11 of the past 12 Cup races on road courses. The exception was Christopher Bell‘s win for Toyota at the Charlotte Roval in last year’s playoffs. Chevrolets have won the two previous Cup races at COTA: Chase Elliott in 2021 and Ross Chastain in 2022.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: Brendan Hunt, who plays Coach Beard in “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+, will give the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting at 2:45 p.m. … Driver introductions at 3:05 p.m. … Invocation will be given by Sage Steele, ESPN broadcaster, at 3:30 p.m. … Jaime Camil, actor from “Schmigadoon” on Apple TV+, will perform the national anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 68 laps (231.88 miles) on the 3.41-mile, 20-turn road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 15. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Pre-race coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and moves to Fox at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and will also stream at; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground – Mostly clouldy with a high of 74 degrees and a 9% chance of rain at the start of the race.

STARTING LINEUP: Qualifying is at 11:30 a.m. ET Saturday

LAST YEAR: Ross Chastain scored his first career Cup win in a physical battle with AJ Allmendinger on the final lap. Alex Bowman finished second. Christopher Bell placed third.


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North Wilkesboro’s racing surface will prove challenging to drivers 

NASCAR Power Rankings: Christopher Bell is new No. 1

NASCAR Saturday schedule at Circuit of the Americas


Saturday will be a busy day at Circuit of the Americas, as all three national series are on the track.

Cup will qualify ahead of the Craftsman Truck and Xfinity Series races.

The forecast Saturday calls for sunny conditions and no chance of rain all day. The high is expected to be 69 degrees during Cup qualifying, 76 degrees at the start of the Truck race and 81 degrees for the start of the Xfinity race.

Zane Smith looks to win his second consecutive Truck race at the road course in Austin, Texas. AJ Allmendinger seeks his second consecutive Xfinity win at COTA.

Saturday, March 25

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Cup Series
  • 10:30 a.m.  — Truck Series
  • 2 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Cup qualifying (FS1)
  • 1:30 p.m. — Truck race (42 laps, 143 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 5 p.m. — Xfinity race (46 laps, 156 miles; FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

COTA Xfinity starting lineup: AJ Allmendinger takes pole


AJ Allmendinger, who won this race a year ago, will start on the pole for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas.

Allmendinger earned the pole with a lap of 92.173 mph Friday on the 20-turn, 3.41-mile road course.

MORE: COTA Xfinity starting lineup

He will be joined on the front row Sammy Smith (91.827 mph).
Ty Gibbs (91.665) will start third. Sheldon Creed (91.652) qualified fourth. Parker Kligerman (91.195) will start fifth.

Cup driver William Byron will start ninth. Byron’s time was disallowed for cutting the esses. Cole Custer, who will start 10th, didn’t make a lap in the final round of qualifying.

Cup driver Aric Almirola (91.269) qualified 13th. Truck Series racer Carson Hocevar (90.669) will start 17th. Alex Labbe (90.476) will start 23rd. He’s filling in for Josh Williams, who is serving a one-race suspension for parking his car at the start/finish line of last weekend’s race at Atlanta.

COTA Truck starting lineup: Ross Chastain wins pole


Ross Chastain will start on the pole for Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas.

Chastain earned the top starting spot in Friday’s qualifying with a lap of 91.877 mph. He’ll be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch (91.490 mph).

More: COTA Truck starting lineup

Ty Majeski qualified third with a lap of 91.225 mph. Rookie Nick Sanchez (90.993) will start fourth, and Christian Eckes (90.937) will complete the top five.

Alex Bowman failed to make the race. Bowman had a flat right front on his qualifying lap.