Dale Jr.’s replacement is now the main topic of conversation, thanks to Matt Kenseth’s latest clarifying announcement.
It is now confirmed that Matt Kenseth will not be driving for JGR next year and Erik Jones will take his place. Now that that information is out of the way, we’re all waiting for one announcement- Dale Jr.’s replacement.
Basically, we’ve all been waiting for that announcement since the moment Dale Jr. announced his retirement. It has undoubtedly been the one topic that everyone keeps talking about.
Of course, Junior and Hendrick Motorsports have kept all details to themselves, seeing that this is a HUGE decision. However, we feel as if the announcement needs to be made pretty soon due to the amount of rumors that are flying.
Out of all the rumors, there is one name that keeps coming up, time and time again. Matt. As in Joe Gibbs Racing driver, Matt Kenseth.
It seems like no matter what is announced, fans always come back to Matt. One fan made a good point by asking the question- “Why else would Junior be so sure that Matt is going to have a car next year?”
Matt will be in the 88 is my guess why else would @DaleJr be so sure Matt will have a ride next yr.
— steven smith (@ScUbAsTeVe_1315) July 12, 2017
If we can remember, Junior practically chuckled when he was asked what he thinks will happen to Matt next season. After chuckling, he said with zero doubt that Matt will have a ride.
Other than that fact of Dale Jr.’s thoughts, fans just feel like it makes the most sense for everyone. Even Brad Keselowski mentioned that he thinks Kenseth will share the 88 duties with another driver next season.
“I’m leaning towards he’s going to retire, but only halfway. He’ll race half of a season. The challenge is.. is there any team out there that would put Matt Kenseth in a car for a full time ride? Is there anyone at a high enough caliber for Matt to be interested in? That’s what’s going to determine the fate. I could see the 88 team (Dale Jr.’s team) pairing him with a younger driver- so someone like Alex Bowman and just sharing during the season.”
Where do you think we will see Matt Kenseth in 2018? #NASCAR
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) July 10, 2017
If Matt doesn't return to JGR next year I think he's my wildcard to drive the 88 next year.
— ChristianCarver #NFB (@cc49ers) July 7, 2017
Good for Erik. Matt to the 88 now right?
— Swett Proof (@Chris_Swett) July 11, 2017
Sounds like Junior would like to see Matt in the 88.
— Mark Salke (@marksalke) July 8, 2017