When Matt Kenseth exclusively told our Nate Ryan at Texas that he was stepping away from NASCAR racing after this season, it was more of him taking a hiatus rather than outright retirement.
In Tuesday’s NASCAR America, Jeff Burton, Kyle Petty and Ryan discussed what they believe the future holds for Kenseth.
Here are some of their thoughts:
BURTON: “I think rightfully so, he’s got his feelings hurt a little bit. He’s done what Joe Gibbs Racing hired him to do. He’s done a nice job, is still contending for wins, but there’s not a place for him. That’s a hard place for a guy like Matt Kenseth to be. He’s very quiet but has a lot of pride. There’s no way not to take this personal. It’s impossible.”
PETTY: “He does take it personal. But in the end, it was a business decision that was out of his control, and that’s the problem. He said he’d like to go out on his own accord, the way he wants to go out, the way Dale Jr.’s gone out, the way Tony Stewart‘s gone out, the way Jeff Gordon‘s gone out. They made the decision and followed through with it. This was not Matt’s decision.”
RYAN: “He never used the word ‘retirement.’ But you know what it’s like for a race car driver, especially one like this, who still feels like he can win — and proved Sunday that he can still lead laps. … He’s stepping away in 2018 and it’s for an indefinite period of time and it’s as declarative or definitive statement as you’re going to get. This is tantamount to him saying retirement.”