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NASCAR Cup: Matt Kenseth doesn’t expect to return to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018

Matt Kenseth (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Matt Kenseth hopes to still be a full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver in 2018, but if he is, he doesn’t think he’ll be with Joe Gibbs Racing. While at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, preparing for Saturday night’s Quaker State 400, Kenseth said he doesn’t have a ride for 2018.

“I’m not really worried about it, but as of today, I do not have a job for next year,” Kenseth said, according to an NBC Sports report. “I hope to still be racing. I think I got some wins left in me, and hopefully, can race for championships.”

Speculation has Erik Jones in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing car, currently driven by Kenseth, next year. Jones, a Cup Series rookie this year, is driving the No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota in 2017, but he is under contract with Joe Gibbs Racing and the deal that has him at Furniture Row is for the 2017 season, only. Jones is driving for Furniture Row, a team with a technical alliance with JGR, through a deal between the two race teams.

“I’m just driving,” Jones said. “For the most part, for me, I don’t know where I’m going to be, yet (next year). They haven’t let me know. For me, I’ve been really happy at Furniture Row, and it’s been a steady group of guys over there that I think work really well together.”

Kenseth has been with Joe Gibbs Racing since 2013, moving there from Roush Fenway Racing. Fourteen of his 38-career Cup Series wins have come since joining the Gibbs organization, including seven wins in his first year with the team and a five-win season in 2015. The 2017 season, though, has been a struggle, across the board, for Joe Gibbs Racing, with none of the organization’s four drivers, also including Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Daniel Suarez, managing a win in the first 17 races of the season.

Kenseth has three top-fives and six top-10s, so far, this season, and sits 11th in the points standings.

“I don’t have anything lined up at this moment for 2018,” Kenseth said. “I haven’t worked on anything real hard, but I do not think I will have the option to return to race at JGR next year, unfortunately.”

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (Facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (Facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on July 7, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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