Winter Savings Event
It IS All About Sports

Matt Kenseth The Best Driver Nobody Thinks About

matt kenseth 222

When naming off the best drivers in NASCAR, names such as Jimmie Johnson (a no-brainer), Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch are often the first names to come up. Matt Kenseth is one that often gets overlooked. But consider that he was second in the point standings this past year, maybe it’s time we started paying attention to him more.

Kenseth won a Sprint Cup Championship in 2003 while driving for Jack Rousch. He has two Daytona 500 wins under his belt. He had a career high seven wins in 2013 in the Joe Gibbs Racing #20 car. Those are some pretty good numbers for the 41 year old driver out of Wisconsin. So why does he seem to not get the love some of the others get?

Perhaps it is because there always seems to be a “but” with his accomplishments. He won the 2003 Championship BUT he won only one race that year. He won the Daytona 500 in 2009, BUT the race as rain shortened. He won seven times in 2013, BUT Jimmie Johnson won the Championship.

But let’s look at these numbers:

31 Sprint Cup wins in 16 years ranks him #22 on the list. Two more wins and he will crack the top 20.

248 Top Ten finishes ranks 23rd all time.

2 Daytona 500 wins ranks him in the top ten as only 10 drivers have won it twice.

One other treason Kenseth may not get all the publicity he deserves is because he came onto the scene around the same time as Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Dale Jr. came in with all the fanfare associated with being son of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Sr. and also as a two-time Nationwide Series Champion. But let’s look at Dale Jr’s numbers compared to Kenseth’s.

Dale has won 19 races compared to Kenseth’s 31. He has no Sprint Cup championships compared to Kenseth’s one. He has one Daytona 500 win compared to Kenseth’s two. Yet he has won NASCAR’s most popular driver five times compared to none for Kenseth.

It would seem like if someone was a new NASCAR fan and was looking for a driver to rot for, Matt Kenseth would be a good choice. He is clearly a driver at the top of his game. Perhaps if he was a more outgoing personality it would help. But he just seems to quietly go about the business of winning races. We don’t see Matt Kenseth do a lot of commercials and really don’t see him doing too many things in front of the camera such as commentary on Nationwide races. But that should not matter in judging his on-track accomplishments.

Jimmie Johnson is of course the favorite going into any new Sprint Cup season. He is perhaps the Greatest of All Time. But take him out of the equation and consider all the others, you have to like Kenseth as much as any other driver. It’s tough when you are competing in an era of an all time great to be considered among the best. But David Pearson and Cale Yarborough did it in the days of Richard Petty. Darrell Waltrip, Rusty Wallace and later Jeff Gordon emerged during the Dale Earnhardt era. By the time his career is over, Kenseth may well have done it in the Johnson era. Those other drivers all have something in common. They are all Hall of Famers. Do not be surprised if one day Matt Kenseth is enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. In reality, he has already done enough to warrant such an honor. But he is far from finished. If he can add a Brickyard 400 and perhaps another Sprint Cup Championship to his resume, then he is automatic. At that point perhaps he will finally get his much deserved recognition.

Leave a comment Below

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>