#17 Matt Kenseth
Shot by "The Daredevil" at Daytona 2008
CCA 2.0 License
Matt Kenseth's Stats:
Born: March 10, 1972
From: Cambridge, WI
Lives: Mooresville, NC
Drives: #17 Dewalt Ford
For: Roush Fenway Racing
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Best Year: 2003 Series Champion
Career Wins: 18
Matt Kenseth started his stock car racing career at age 16 in 1988 after his father purchased a car for him three years earlier. His father drove the car and Matt agreed to work on the car until he turned 16 and then he could drive. When he did start racing it only took Matt a few times out to record his first feature win, but it was a sign of more to come from him in the upcoming years.
The next few years would push Kenseth to the limits has he entered race after race recording several wins, including the rookie of the year award. Keep in mind this was all before graduating high school in 1990.
For the next four years, Kenseth kept racing in the ARTGO short track series, which eventually gave him his stepping stone to drive in NASCAR. However, before this would happen Matt became the youngest driver in ARTGO history to win a race (LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway) in 1991.
Fast forward to the 1995 season and things started to really take off. Win after win came to be, and while he was positioned to take on the smaller NASCAR circuits by 1996, he still hadn't attracted the bigger sponsors out there. This was surprising considering he ran in the Hooter's series, a few races in the Nationwide series, and the Craftsmen Truck Series. However, little did Kenseth know his call would be coming soon.
While he may not have liked the way it went down, you have to think everything happens for a reason. In 97', the Nationwide Series was no longer a dream when Robbie Reiser gave Kenseth a call to drive for his injured driver Tim Bender. Matt took the reigns and finished out the rest of the season, making ample strides towards becoming successful in the Nationwide Series. By year's end, he had two top 5 finishes and a full-time ride for the following year.
By 98', he found his opportunity in the NASCAR Cup Series filling in for Bill Elliott and as they say, the rest is history. In 99’ Matt drove five races for Roush Fenway Racing in preparation for his rookie season. He scored his first career top-five finish at
where he finished fourth. He also raced at
Charlotte and Rockingham in second half of season. By 2000, Kenseth notched his first victory on the circuit at the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte at the
Lowe’s Motor Speedway
and by 2003, had won his first championship of his career.
Away from the track Matt loves to ride one of his many motorcycles. For Matt Kenseth nothing beats a long ride on the back roads of America. Oh, and if you're a pilot, Matt has his wings too. Maybe he's got a good job lined up when he retires from racing. Then again, that won't be anytime soon.
Matt Kenseth's Wins
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