Kenseth taking over Larson ride at CGR for remainder of 2020

Retired NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth has been named to replace Kyle Larson in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

The 2003 champion was retired from Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017 after four seasons with the team, but returned the following season racing for his former team Roush Fenway Racing for 15 races.

The 48-year-old started his Cup career in 2000 with Roush and won the 2003 Cup championship. He has 39 wins including two Daytona 500 victories in 2009 and 2012.

Kenseth will replace Larson who was fired from the team for using a racial slur during a virtual race.  Ross Chastain, who has subbed for Ryan Newman at Roush since Newman’s accident at the end of this year’s Daytona 500, was widely rumored to take over the Ganassi ride.  Newman announced Sunday he will return to racing when it resumes. The sport is currently on-hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ganassi Racing made the announcement Monday.  The announcement said that Kenseth will be behind the wheel for the team for the “remainder of the 2020 season.”

“I have always said that when we have to fill a driver spot, that I owe it to our team, our partners and our fans to put the best available driver in the car,” team owner Chip Ganassi said. “We are doing exactly that with Matt. Throughout my time in NASCAR, I have always admired the way Matt Kenseth raced. He has proven to be a consistent winner, strong competitor, and respectful driver, and I’m glad we are able to add another NASCAR champion to the team for the remainder of this season.”

Kenseth began his racing career in 1988 in a Camaro and made his debut in the NASCAR Southeast Series in 1994 behind the wheel of a Chevrolet, and continued racing Chevrolet’s in the Xfinity Series through the 2001 season.

“This was an unexpected opportunity for sure,” Kenseth said. “I can’t say racing was even on my radar two weeks ago. After spending some time thinking about it and all the unique circumstances surrounding all of us right now, it just seemed the timing and the opportunity was perfect to come back. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me to get up to speed in a relatively short period of time, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

“I’m excited to work with Kurt again and to meet all my new CGR team members, and I’m really looking forward to getting back in a Chevrolet. In 1988, I started my career in a Camaro and I can’t wait to finally race a Chevy in the Cup Series. I also need to thank Chip and all his partners for this opportunity. Hopefully we will be on the track soon.”