Matt Kenseth, who is running a part-time schedule for Roush Fenway Racing in the #6 car, has received an expanded slate in the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. RFR announced the news on Wednesday.
In May, Kenseth returned to Roush for the first time since 2012 to split the #6 Ford with Trevor Bayne, who had been twenty-ninth in the standings at the time. Kenseth debuted at Kansas Speedway, where he finished thirty-sixth following a crash. He ran the next three races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway, and Michigan International Speedway, recording a best finish of thirteenth at Pocono. Bayne returns to the #6 for the Cup race at Sonoma Raceway, and will remain in the car for the Chicagoland Speedway and Daytona International Speedway events.
Kenseth was initially scheduled to drive the car again at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in September, but Wednesday’s announcement means he will have more races in between. In addition to Indianapolis, he will also race at Kentucky Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Pocono, Watkins Glen International, and Darlington Raceway. During the playoffs, he will compete at Dover, Martinsville Speedway, ISM Raceway, and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Bayne will fill in the open slots, though the team release added more races for Kenseth are “under consideration”.
From 2000 to 2012, Kenseth drove the #17 for Roush, winning the 2003 championship, twenty-four races, and two Daytona 500s. He moved to Joe Gibbs Racing‘s #20 Toyota in 2013, where he won fifteen races before departing the team following the 2017 season. He has one win at Kentucky (2013), three at New Hampshire (2013, 2015, 2016), one at Pocono (2015), one at Darlington (2013), three at Dover (2006, 2011, 2016), two at ISM (Phoenix; 2002 and 2017), and one at Homestead (2007). His best finishes at the three non-victorious tracks (Watkins Glen, Indianapolis, and Martinsville) are all runner-ups: 2017 at the Glen; 2003, 2006, and 2016 at Indy; and 2002 and 2013 at Martinsville.